Time trends in mid-upper-arm anthropometry from 1982 to 2011 in male children and adolescents from Kolkata, India

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Research Article

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Journal of Biosocial Science


The aim of this study was to investigate inter-generational changes in selected mid-upper-arm measurements of boys from Kolkata, India. The analysis was based on the anthropometric measurements of two cohorts of Bengali boys aged 7-16 from middle-class families, in 1982-83 and 2005-11. The two cohorts were compared in terms of their mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) and mid-upper-arm area (MUAA), mid-upper-arm muscle area (MUAMA), mid-upper-arm fat area (MUAFA) and Arm Fat Index (AFI). The significances of the differences were determined using two-way ANOVA. All features differed significantly between the examined cohorts and all showed a general positive secular trend. In most cases, the biggest differences were noted for 14-and 16-year olds and the smallest for the youngest boys. The contemporary boys seemed to have more favourable overall developmental conditions, probably related to socioeconomic progress in India over recent decades.

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