7. Original Scientific Paper

Background: Poor nutrition status causes delay in process of growth and development by increasing susceptibility to infectious diseases and relative risk of mortality.

Aim: The present cross-sectional study was undertaken to assess physical growth patterns and body composition among adolescents belonging to an indigenous ethnic population of West Bengal, India.

Subjects and methods: The present study was conducted among 964 boys aged 10-18 years belonging to the indigenous Rajbanshi population of Darjeeling district, West Bengal, Eastern-India. A total of 19 anthropometric variables were used to evaluate physical growth and body composition. Anthropometric measurements were obtained using standard procedures. The statistical analyses include descriptive statistics, Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, ANOVA, percentile conversion and least mean square (LMS) model.

Results: Several anthropometric variables (such as height, weight and BMI) have shown increases with age among the boys. The boys however, showed poor growth and body composition when compared with their NCHS/NHANES counterparts. Height, weight, TSF and BMI were below 50th percentile of the reference. Conclusion: These adolescent boys exhibit poor physical growth and body composition. In-depth studies are necessary for identifying the factors responsible for such retardations reflected in both growth and body composition variables.

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