AIM: In the past years the body composition assessment in pediatric subjects showed great changes due to the different quality of life and different diet habits. Over-weight and obesity increased tremendously not only in the industrialized societies but also in developing countries. Growth curves developed in the 60s need to be revises in the light of these changes and population specific curves are needed to follow a population with different life style and energy intake. The aim of this study was to evaluate, in a city of South Italy (San Severo), pediatric subjects in order to create growth curves. METHODS: Between May 1999 and October 2000 we evaluated 2,262 subjects: 1,172 (51.8%) males and 1,090 (48.2%) females, age range 6-11 years (mean 8.48 +/- 2.28 years). Height, weight, thoracic circumference and body mass index (BMI) were measured by the same expert operator. RESULTS: Tables and figures for weight, height, thoracic circumferences and BMI at 3 degrees, 50 degrees, 97 degrees centile for age and gender were presented. A comparison between 50 degrees centile for BMI in males and females were also done showing the different development related to gender. CONCLUSIONS: The results obtained underline the importance of an auxologic follow-up of the pediatric subjects in order to evaluate their correct development. The specific growth curves available make it possible to analyze the development of subjects in comparison with the subjects studied for the curves development. Moreover, the importance of the BMI curve and the relationship of the 50 degrees centile in males and females showing the different growth curve related to gender, is underlined.
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