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Title: Anthropometric standards for the assessment of growth and nutritional status of Maltese adolescents
Authors: Decelis, Andrew (1998)
Keywords: Anthropometry -- Malta
Body weight -- Malta
Physical fitness -- Malta
Stature -- Malta
Nutrition -- Malta
Teenagers -- Malta
Obesity -- Malta
Issue Date: 1998
Citation: Decelis, A. (1998). Anthropometric standards for the assessment of growth and nutritional status of Maltese adolescents (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: This study aims at producing Maltese reference standards of height, weight, mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), and body mass index (BMI) for adolescents between 11 and 16 years, and to estimate the prevalence of obesity and underweight for this age group. The cross-sectional study was conducted during the period January 1997. to March 1998 on a nationally representative sample of 5,519 adolescents - 3,048 girls, and 2,471 boys, i.e. 21 % of the population between 11 and 16 years. Centile values were computed. Sex differences, academic ability differences and interrelations between variables were investigated. Maltese adolescents were shorter and had greater BMI values than the British and North American at all ages. Of the sample, one in four were obese and one in nine superobese. Compared to boys, girls were taller up to 12 years 9 months, heavier up to 13 years, and had greater MUAC up to 14 years. Girls' BMI values were higher than the boys' at all ages, with differences tapering off at 15 years 6 months. Peak height velocity in boys was obseived at 12 years 9 months, earlier than in all other European and North American studies. There was no single discernible peak for the girls. Adolescents of a higher academic ability were taller than those in the lower ability group. Strongest correlation was obtained between MUAC and BMI, weight and BMI and between weight and MUAC, both for the girls and the boys, suggesting that these could be used interchangeably. BMI had a low correlation with height, proving that it is a valid index of obesity. It is suggested that the growth charts produced in this study be used in local schools and hospitals in the assessment of growth and nutritional status. The study concludes that the problem of obesity in Maltese adolescents is of great concern. Recommendations are given together with suggestions for future research.
Description: M.ED.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEdu - 1953-2007

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