Title

Growth variation, final height and secular trend. Proceedings of the 17th Aschauer Soiree, 7th November 2009

Authors

Authors

M. Hermanussen; E. Godina; F. J. Ruhli; P. Blaha; J. L. Boldsen; S. van Buuren; M. MacIntyre; C. Assmann; A. Ghosh; G. F. de Stefano; V. D. Sonkin; J. A. F. Tresguerres; C. Meigen; C. Scheffler; C. Geiger;L. S. Lieberman

Comments

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Abbreviated Journal Title

Homo

Keywords

MENARCHE; CHILDREN; LEAD; AGE; Anthropology

Abstract

Growth and body height have always been topics interesting to the public. In particular, the stupendous increase of some 15-19 cm in final adult height during the last 150 years in most European countries (the "secular trend"), the concomitant changes in body and head proportions, the tendency towards early onset of sexual maturation, the changes in the age when final height is being reached, and the very recent trend in body mass index, have generated much scientific literature. The marked plasticity of growth in height and weight over time causes problems. Child growth references differ between nations, they tend to quickly become out of date, and raise a number of questions regarding fitting methods, effects caused by selective drop-out, etc. New findings contradict common beliefs about the primary importance of nutritional and health related factors for secular changes in growth. There appears to be a broad age span from mid-childhood to early adolescence that is characterised by a peculiar insusceptibility. Environmental factors that are known to influence growth during this age span appear to have only little or no impact on final height. Major re-arrangements in height occur at an age when puberty has almost been completed and final height has almost been reached, implying that factors, which drive the secular trend in height, are limited to early childhood and late adolescence. (c) 2010 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Journal Title

Homo-Journal of Comparative Human Biology

Volume

61

Issue/Number

4

Publication Date

1-1-2010

Document Type

Article

Language

English

First Page

277

Last Page

284

WOS Identifier

WOS:000282357800005

ISSN

0018-442X

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