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© Borgis - New Medicine 1/2004, s. 17-19
Anna Waluś1, Lidia Wądołowska2, Roman Cichon1,2
Assessment of the Nutritional Status of 16-year-olds from Olsztyn*
1Department of Nutrition and Dietetic, Medical University, Bydgoszcz, Poland
Head of Department: Prof. Roman Cichon, MSc. PhD
2Institute of Human Nutrition, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland
Head of Institute: Prof. Roman Cichon, MSc, PhD
Aim. The aim of the work was the evaluation of the nutritional status of 16-year-olds from Olsztyn.
Material and method. The research included 101 girls and 99 boys aged 16 living in Olsztyn. Their nutritional status was estimated with the use of anthropometric parameters, i.e. body mass and height, arm circumference, and 4 skinfold thickness measurements. The BMI (kg/m2), arm muscle circumference (AMC, cm), fat-free body mass (FFM, kg), fat mass (FM, kg) and fat mass percentage in the body (%FM, %) were calculated. The results were displayed as mean value and standard deviation (x ± SD), and then linked with percentile values taken from Warsaw teenagers´ standards.
Results. Average values of anthropometric indices, i.e. height, body mass, BMI, arm circumference and the subscapular skinfold thickness measurements, for both girls and boys, corresponded with the 25th-75th percentile of those parameters for Warsaw 16-year-olds. Average BMI corresponded with the 50th-75th percentile of the Warsaw boys´ standard. The subscapular skinfold thickness measurements in girls corresponded with the 75th percentile, and the 50th-75th percentile for boys. This showed slightly more fatness in teenagers from Olsztyn, located in the upper part of the body, when compared with the Warsaw figures. In the population distribution analysis of the anthropometric parameters, adequate nutritional status was shown among 50% of young population, while 30% of girls and boys were found to have their body mass, BMI and skinfold thickness measurements above the 75th percentile of standards.
Conclusion. School students from Olsztyn showed proper average body sizes and a little more fatness, situated in the upper part of the body, when compared with the Warsaw teenager standard.
Adequate nutrition is one of the most significant environmental factors influencing the level and dynamics of body growth and maintaining the well-being of people. This is particularly important during intensive growth in adolescence of children and teenagers, affecting the adequate course of all processes connected with that period of life on the biological level as well as in the psychological sphere (1, 2).
The aim of the work was the evaluation of the nutritional status of 16-year-olds from Olsztyn.
The research included 101 girls and 99 boys aged 16, attending high schools of different profiles, in Olsztyn. Subjects for the research were selected by the group method, by schools, and then two or three classes from each school. The research was conducted in Autumn 2002, with the agreement of the Bioethics Commission at the Regional Warmia and Masuria Physicians´ Chamber in Olsztyn (no 49/2001).
Nutritional status was evaluated by anthropometric methods, on the basis of the body mass and height, arm circumference and 4 skinfold thicknesses: triceps skinfold (TSF, mm), biceps skinfold (BSF, mm), subscapular skinfold (SCSF, mm) and suprailiac skinfold (SISF, mm) measurements. On their basis the BMI (kg/m2), fat mass (FM, kg), fat-free mass (FFM, kg), fat percentage in the body (%FM, %) and arm muscle circumference (AMC, cm) (1, 2, 3) were calculated. The results were displayed as mean value and standard deviation (x±SD), and then referred to percentage values determined for Warsaw teenagers (4). The population percentage was calculated in the specified percentage ranges. The statistical analysis was carried out with the computer program STATISTICA PL v.6.0.
The mean girls´ height amounted to 164.2±6.09 cm and met the 50th percentile for girls from Warsaw (Table 1) (4). The mean height of boys, 172.6±10.1 cm, was close to the values over the 25th percentile for Warsaw boys. The body mass of Olsztyn girls, amounting to 58.4±15.28 kg, was situated within the 50th and the 75th percentile. The mean body mass of the Olsztyn boys corresponded with values below the 50th percentile. The body mass index (BMI) agreed with the 50th-75th percentile, and amounted to 21.6±5.05 kg/m2 for girls, and 21.4±5.67 kg/m2 for boys (Table 1). The mean arm circumference of girls (23.6±3.29 cm) was within the range determined by the 25th and the 50th percentile, while the mean arm circumference of boys (24.6±3.17 cm) matched the 25th percentile for boys from Warsaw. The mean subscapular skinfold thickness of teenagers from Olsztyn amounted to 12.0±5.63 mm for girls, and 8.0±4.55 mm for boys. The values for girls corresponded with the 75th percentile of Warsaw girls, while for boys they were from the 50th to the 75th percentile of Warsaw boys. Similar results concerning height, body mass, and BMI for Warsaw teenagers were obtained by Chwojnowska et al. (5). Slightly different results for teenagers from Biała Podlaska were obtained by Czeczelewski et al. (6). The mean body mass and height of girls from the Biała Podlaska Province amounted to: 48.6±6.1 kg and 160.0±5.2 cm respectively and boys to 50.4±8.4 kg and 163.8±7.2 cm. Results obtained for Olsztyn students in comparison to data for young people from Biała Podlaska were higher in the case of girls, 9.8 kg and 4.2 cm respectively, and with reference to boys, 12.8 kg and 8.8 cm respectively. BMI for subjects from Biała Podlaska Province reached a level of 18.9±1.7 kg/m2 with reference to girls and 18.7±2.1 kg/m2 for boys. The mean BMI values of Olsztyn´s teenagers in comparison to values analyzed by Czeczelewski et al. (1) were higher by 2.7 kg/m2, both for girls and for boys.
Table 1. Mean values of anthropometric parameters.
ParameterGirls N = 101Boys N = 99Percentile positions for the Olsztyn students according to the percentage values for Warsaw standard (4) 
x ? SDGirlsBoys
Height, cm164.2 ? 6.09172.6 ? 10.150c> 25c
Body mass, kg58.4 ? 15.2863.2 ? 9.8150-75c< 50c
BMI, kg/m221.6 ? 5.0521.4 ? 5.6750-75c50-75c
Arm circumference, cm23.6 ? 3.2924.6 ? 3.1725-50c25c
SCSF, mm12.0 ? 5.638.0 ? 4.5575c50-75c
FM, kg13.9 ? 6.026.7 ? 4.32  
%FM, %23.2 ? 4.4410.2 ? 4.82  
FFM, kg44.5 ? 10.0256.4 ? 7.00  
AMC, cm20.3 ? 2.8422.9 ? 2.95  
BMI – body mass index, SCSF – subscapular skinfold, FM – fat mass, %FM – fat mass percentage in the body, FFM – fat-free body mass, AMC – arm muscle circumference, c – percentiles
Evaluation of the fat and muscular tissue content is harder than in the case of the basic parameters, because no parameters directly linking body content are included in the anthropometric parameters percentiles tables for Warsaw teenagers (4). In girls, the mean percentage fat content in the body (%FM) amounted to 23.2±4.44%, and the mean fat-free body mass content (FFM) to 44.5±10.02 kg (Table 1). In boys these values amounted to 10.2±4.82% and 56.4±7.00 kg, respectively. The Czeczelewski et al. (1) research on the body content of the teenagers from Biała Podlaska shows that the total fat amounted to 22.9% for girls, and to 13.9% for boys (6). Values for Olsztyn, compared to those mentioned above, differed and were higher by 0.3% in the case of girls and lower by 3.7% for boys. The mean fat-free body mass content of teenagers from Olsztyn in comparison to those from Biała Podlaska was higher, at 7 kg for girls and 13 kg for boys. The mean arm muscle circumference (AMC) for girls amounted to 20.3±2.84 cm, while for boys it was 22.9±2.95 cm (Table 1).
On the basis of the population distribution analysis in the percentile ranges, it was found that 79.2% of the analyzed girls and 85.8% of the boys have an adequate body mass in 10th and the 90th percentile (Table 2). Malnutrition of the body (<10th percentile) was found in 5.9% of girls and in 7.1% of boys. Obesity (body mass>90th percentile) was identified in 14.9% of girls and in 7.1% of boys. Adequate body height, in the range between the 10th and the 90th percentile, was stated for 81.2% of girls and 75.8% of boys. Body height below the 10th percentile was revealed in 6.9% of girls and in 15.1% of boys, and over the 90th percentile for 11.9% and 9.1%, respectively (Table 2). Adequate values of the body mass index (10th percentileŁBMIŁ90th percentile) characterized 75.1% of the girls and 81.8% of the analyzed boys (Table 2). Low body mass index (BMI<10th percentile) was identified in 8.9% of girls and 6.1% of boys, and high values of this index (BMI>90th percentile) were 16.8% and 12.1% respectively (Table 2). Adequate thickness of the subscapular skinfold (10th percentileŁSCSFŁ90th percentile) characterized 69.3% of girls and 78.8% of boys. Too low a thickness of the subscapular skinfold (SCSF<10th percentile) was stated for 6.9% of girls and 13.1% of boys, while too thick subscapular skinfold (SCSF>90th percentile), indicating obesity, was revealed in as many as 23.8% of girls and 8.1% of boys (Table 2). For about 40% of the girls, the subscapular skinfold thickness corresponded with values above the 75th percentile. The results are evidence for a slightly greater fatness in the Olsztyn teenagers, localized in the upper part of the body, in comparison with the Warsaw values (Table 2). Similar results for young people from Śląsk were obtained by Mikusek et al. (7). In research on the environmental conditioning of growth, they showed that teenagers from groups of a lower socio-economic status are characterized by a higher fat content in the body.
Table 2. Population percentage in the percentiles range according to (4).
Parameter/rangePopulation, %
Girls N = 101Boys N = 99
Body mass
< 10th percentile5.97.1
< 25th percentile16.819.2
25th-75th percentile54.552.5
> 75th percentile28.728.3
> 90th percentile14.97.1
Body height
< 10th percentile6.915.1
< 25th percentile24.730.3
25th-75th percentile53.540.4
> 75th percentile21.829.3
> 90th percentile11.99.1
< 10th percentile8.96.1
< 25th percentile22.820.2
25th-75th percentile45.554.5
> 75th percentile31.725.3
> 90th percentile16.812.1
Skinfold under shovel
< 10th percentile6.913.1
< 25th percentile18.827.3
25th-75th percentile43.654.5
> 75th percentile37.618.2
> 90th percentile23.88.1
Arm circumference
< 10th percentile12.912.1
< 25th percentile28.731.3
25th-75th percentile51.553.5
> 75th percentile19.815.2
> 90th percentile6.92.0
School students from Olsztyn showed proper average body sizes and slightly more fatness, in the upper part of the body, when compared with the Warsaw standard teenagers.

*This work was carried out as part of KBN research subject no 3P05D 073 22.
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