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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 26, No. 4, 2008, pp. 405-417
Bioline Code: hn08042
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 26, No. 4, 2008, pp. 405-417

 en Development and Tracking of Body Mass Index from Preschool Age into Adolescence in Rural South African Children: Ellisras Longitudinal Growth and Health Study
Monyeki, K.D.; Monyeki, M.A.; Brits, S.J.; Kemper, H.C.G. & Makgae, P.J.


The purpose of this observational prospective cohort study was to investigate the development and tracking of body mass index (BMI) of Ellisras rural children from preschool age into late adolescence from the Ellisras Longitudinal Growth and Health Study. Heights and weights of children were measured according to the standard procedures recommended by the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry twice a year from 1996 to 2003. In total, 2,225 children-550 preschool and 1,675 primary school-aged 3-10 years (birth cohorts 1993 to 1986) were enrolled at baseline in 1996 and followed through out the eight-year periodic surveys. In 2003, 1,771 children-489 preschool and 1,282 pri- mary school-were still in the study. The prevalence of overweight was significantly higher among girls (range 1.6-15.5%) compared to boys (range 0.3-4.9%) from age 9.1 years to 14.9 years. The prevalence of thinness (severe, moderate, and mild) ranged from 7.1% to 53.7% for preschool children and from 8.0% to 47.6% for primary school children. Both preschool and primary school children showed a significant association between the first measurements of BMI and the subsequent measurement which ranged from B=0.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.1-0.4) to B=0.8 (95% CI 0.6-0.9) for preschool and B=0.2 (95% CI 0.1-0.3) to B=0.7 (95% CI 0.6-0.8) for primary children. A significant tracking of BMI during 4-12 years of life was more consistent for preschool children (B=0.6 (95% CI 0.6-0.7) and for primary school children (B=0.6 (95%CI 0.5-0.6). Investigation of nutritional intake and physical activity patterns will shed light on how healthy these children are and their lifestyle.

Adolescent; Body mass index; Child; Child growth; Cohort studies; Obesity; Observational studies; Prospective studies; Tracking; South Africa

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