INTRODUCTION The physical structure of the growing child has been systematically studied for over 150 years

(Meredith, 1936; Krogman, 1955; Tanner, 1981). The basic concepts are built on a strong historical foundation in the medical, anthropological and human biological sciences (Morley et al., 1968; Cameron, 1991; Malina et al., 2004). These aspects of human biology have been studied at the level of the individual as well as in samples of children within communities and national populations (Tanner, 1953; Johnson, 1970, 1971; Marshall, 1981; Malina and Roche, 1983). These studies have contributed to our understanding of human biological variation. It is clear that there is a wide range of variation among individuals in the population (Eveleth and Tanner, 1990; Cameron, 1992). A significant portion of this biological variation in adults in any population has its origin in the prenatal period (Tanner, 1989) and the growing years by processes which have been shown to be quite plastic (Tanner and Thomson,1970; Roche, 1999). The influence of environmental factors such as infant and childhood diseases thought to interact with a child’s genetic potential for growth and maturation has been elaborated (Cameron, 1991, 1992). The role of the socioeconomic background and lifestyle variables which may influence patterns of nutritional intake (Ulijaszek, 2006), the patterns of physical activity and other environmental stresses which affect the development of the physique during growth is currently engaging research (Field et al., 2005; Wardle et al., 2006). The study of growth and maturation has provided useful information relevant to several more specific issues including the physical status, progress, prediction, tracking, comparison and interpretation of growth and maturity (Malina et al., 2004).


Adolescent growth period From birth to early adulthood, growth in stature has been shown to follow a four-phase pattern: 1) rapid gain in infancy and early childhood, 2) steady gain during middle childhood, 3) rapid gain during the adolescent spurt, and 4) slow increase until growth ceases with the attainment of adult stature (Kuczmarski et al., 2000). Body mass, however, usually continues to increase into adult life. The adolescent period is a phase of rapid physical growth characterized by increase in body dimensions in all directions (Tanner, 1962). This measurable increase in size occurs as a result of changes in the composition as well as the relative proportions of the constituent parts of the body such as bone, muscle, adipose tissue and the internal or visceral organs (Cameron, 1984). These changes are induced primarily by the brain which sends the appropriate signals in the form of hormones at specific periods during the normal aging process (Bloom, 1964). The period represents an important transition stage in the development of adult morphologic character of all individuals. Inherited physical and behavioral traits that both determine and influence performance attain to their full potential during this period. It also represents a critical stage in the establishment and manifestation of adult health risk factors (Malina et al., 2004). Adolescence is difficult to define in terms of chronological age because of the variation in the time of its onset and termination. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines the age of adolescence as between 10 and 18 years (WHO, 1995) but certain authorities (Rolland-Cachera et al., 1991; Suwa et al., 1992; Roche and Guo, 2001; Malina et al., 2004), recommend that the age ranges 8 to 19 years in girls and 10 to 22 years in boys are more appropriate as limits for normal variation in the onset and termination of adolescence. During this period, most bodily systems become adult both structurally and functionally, i.e. they reach maturity. Structurally,


adolescence commences with acceleration in the rate of growth in stature, which marks the onset of the adolescent growth spurt. The rate of growth in height reaches a peak, then begins a slower or decelerative phase, and finally terminates with the attainment of adult stature. Functionally, adolescence is usually viewed in terms of sexual maturity, which actually begins with changes in the neuroendocrine system before overt physical changes and terminates with the attainment of mature reproductive function. Somatic growth and maturation during adolescence has also been investigated in the context of the body build or physique (Carter, 2006).

Role of urban population dynamics the development of the Adolescent Physique Post-colonial urban populations represent an interesting ecological milieu for the critical evaluation of the scope and extent of the evolutionary plasticity and resilience of Homo sapiens (Leonard and Crawford, 2002). The manner in which pre-colonial adolescent populations in West Africa have responded to the sociocultural dimension of the interventionist policies of the colonial and post-colonial state and the biological impact of such responses have only recently begun to receive the attention of biological anthropologists (Garnier et al., 2003; Benefice et al., 2003). An examination of the anthropological features- social, cultural and biological- of this sub-region may reveal patterns which could illustrate the role of cross-cultural interaction in defining some metaphorical trends of biological adaptation observable in contemporary West Africa. Nigeria is a country located on the west coast of Africa. With a southern Atlantic coastline extending around the Gulf of Guinea (4.20N 6.00E), its centre in the Sahel savannah and its northernmost part reaching as far as the Sahara desert (Illela, in Sokoto State lies due 13.49N 5.20E: source: Collins-Longman Atlas, 1981) and with a human population officially determined at 140.8 million (National Population Commission of Nigeria, 2006), it consists of a


heterogeneous mixture of numerous and diverse ethnic groups whose fairly well defined sociocultural habits and life-styles have been established for many centuries. European colonization, urbanization and modernization since the late 19th century, however, have combined to cause huge socio-cultural schisms in the polity, with relocation of a substantial portion of the rural population from its traditional and mainly agrarian lifestyle into quasi-industrial townships and cities with the attendant evolution of ghettos and urban slums. This massive overhauling of ageold social structures, values, privileges and lifestyles has created new and often entirely different kinds of loci for physical and social interactions through such places as the office, school and residential environment. Changes in job and business opportunities across the various social strata appear to have resulted in a socio-economic paradigm shift that could be defined in terms of new or westernized lifestyles. Two major and direct consequences of this development have been the change in the dietary patterns of many families as well as an increase in the frequency of inter-ethnic marriages. Transformations arising from the additional variability in the genotypic and phenotypic disposition of children born and nurtured in such communities would thus be manifested as changes in their growth patterns and their body builds. It would, therefore, be expected to represent an additional source of genetic variability, a phenomenon apparently not limited to Nigeria but most probably occurring in several other countries in the West African sub-region that have also experienced similar patterns of western colonization. The city of Lagos is a community where the interventionist policy of colonial and post-colonial government has had a major sociocultural impact. Originally founded and predominantly inhabited by Yorubaspeaking natives, the cumulative effects of five hundred years of socioeconomic interaction with the Portuguese and other European and Mediterranean maritime traders, two hundred years as a major trans-Atlantic slave trade seaport, a century of British colonization and the final


destination of more than one hundred years of intense rural-urban migration of people from native Yoruba groups as well as non-native Nigerian ethnic groups, has transformed the city into an intensely multi-ethnic “hotbed”. It has been suggested that approximately one-third of the current population consists of Ibo-speaking Nigerians, aside of other substantially wellrepresented non- indigenous ethnic groups. This wide spectrum of variability, in terms of the sociocultural lifestyles, economic and living standards and dietary habits, would expectedly be manifested in widely variable physiques of the people especially, among the children and adolescent youth. ( While the foregoing description is partly anecdotal and may be viewed as having little scientific basis, such reports of socio-cultural interaction and behavior are rare in scientific literature on Nigerian children, and therefore, should not be ignored as a possible explanation for the variations in somatotype distribution in the area being investigated. The transformations described may have implications for the genetic structure, the social organization, and in turn the biological well-being of the population.


LITERATURE REVIEW European and American growth studies A review of the history of the study of growth suggests that the earliest published work on the subject was based on data generated from North America and Europe. A detailed account has been published in Origins of the Study of Human Growth, (Boyd, 1980), and A History of the Study of Human Growth, (Tanner, 1981). The work of Boyd (1980) was based on the unfinished manuscripts of Richard Scammon, which were first reported in 1923 in the 11th edition of Morris’ Anatomy and subsequently republished in his 1930 Sigma XI lecture (Scammon, 1930). Boyd (1980) considered early discussions of the life cycle, including description of prenatal and postnatal stages, from antiquity to A.D.1700 and then more specific studies of growth in Europe and North America from 1700 to 1940. Tanner (1981) briefly considered the ancient world, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance and then presented a comprehensive discussion of growth studies from the 18th century through the major North American and European longitudinal studies. Earlier reports also provide an excellent background to the relatively long history of the study of growth in Europe and the United States (U.S.). Meredith (1936) reviewed American research on growth of children before 1900, and Krogman (1941) provided a comprehensive compilation of European and North American growth studies before 1940, focusing primarily on data from the 1920s and 1930s. Krogman (1950, 1955) also presented a syllabus of concepts and techniques for the study of growth which was followed by a summary of related literature published between 1950 and 1955. Meredith (1969, 1971, and 1987) also reported summaries of


data from different areas of the world dealing with specific body dimensions in specific age groups between birth and adulthood. Roche and Malina (1983) provide detailed tabular summaries for a variety of indicators of growth and maturity in North American since 1940 in a two-volume compendium, Manual of Physical Status and Performance in childhood. Eveleth and Tanner’s (1990) Worldwide Variation in Human Growth is a compendium of data on growth and maturation from many regions of the world and also includes a discussion of factors that influence these processes. Malina et al. (2004) presented an in-depth description and analysis of growth studies from the U.S., Europe, Australia, Latin America and Asia in Growth, Maturation and Physical Activity (2nd ed.). African growth Studies. Marshall (1981) has reviewed the available literature that examined stature and body mass in Africa before 1980. In a comprehensive and voluminous document published by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 2002, all anthropometric growth studies on children were summarized by geographical region and country. The studies were grouped into cross-sectional and mixed/longitudinal categories. The document indicates that the earliest reported growth study from Africa was done by Kark (1957) who, in a mixed longitudinal study from June 1950 to December 1952, investigated sexual maturation and variation in the height and weight growth among 8–19 year-old girls of the Bantu origin in Lamontville, a municipal or urban township of low socio-economic status in Durban, South Africa. Also, the earliest reported growth study from West Africa was a mixed-longitudinal study by McGregor et al. (1961) on children from a rural community in the Gambia. The earliest reported cross-sectional somatotype study from Africa was that of Parizkova and Merhautova (1971) who described somatic development in


relation to various functional characteristics in Tunisian primary school boys and girls aged 11 and 12 years from middle to high socioeconomic status families in urban Tunis from the native African Mediterranean stock in 1968. The FAO list includes a compendium of national surveys organized by various departments of the United Nations as well as other international bodies endowed with the resources to conduct such programmes (Marshall, 1981). The document shows that the earlier growth studies tended to be mixed-longitudinal. Nigerian growth studies Growth studies from Nigeria before 1980 have been summarized by Marshall (1981) in the FAO (2002) document. The emphases of these studies have been on the physical status as assessed by growth in stature (height) and body mass (weight). The studies were all cross-sectional with the exception of the mixed-longitudinal study reported by Morley et al. (1968) that was carried out between 1957 and 1963 and involving preschool children in Imesi-Ile, a rural community in Osun State of Southwest Nigeria. Tanner and O'Keefe (1962) reported the heights, weights and age at menarche in 12 to 19 year-old Nigerian Ibo schoolgirls in Onitsha and Owerri Eastern region of Nigeria from a high socio-economic background. Hauck and Tabrah (1963) reported the heights and weights of 416 male and 314 female, living in Awo Omamma, a rural community in Eastern Nigeria. Edozien (1965) provided anthropometric data for Nigerian boys and girls aged 1–11 years sampled from upper-middle class socio-economic status in Ibadan, Western Nigeria. Johnson (1970, 1972) reported the height and weight and the physique of urban

Nigerians in the adolescent period in a sample taken as representative of Lagos, Nigeria. Oomen (1979) described the body build and nutritional status of male adults of the Fulani, Hausa and Maguzawa ethnic groups of Northern Nigeria from a middle class socio-economic status


inhabiting the same rural locality. Apart from reports of skinfold thickness of urban Lagos children (Johnson, 1971), limited information is available regarding changes in body composition associated with growth during the adolescent period in the pre-1980 era in Nigeria. In the post 1980 period, the emphasis appears to have shifted with the report of the prevalence of obesity among Nigerian school children living in the Abeokuta metropolis in southwest Nigeria by Akesode and Ajibode (1983). Owa and Adejuyigbe (1997) reported a comparison of measurements of fat mass, fat mass percentage, body mass index and mid-upper arm circumference taken by anthropometric and bioelectric impedance techniques in a healthy population of Nigerian school children aged 5-15 years in Ile- Ife in Southwest Nigeria. By the turn of the millennium, Ansa et al. (2001) had examined the profile of body mass index and obesity in Nigerian children and adolescents aged 6-18 years resident in Calabar. Jeroh (2003) has reviewed growth and nutritional status studies in Nigeria while Eboh and Boye (2005) reported on the body composition of normal and malnourished children aged 3-11 years in the Niger Delta. The assessment of somatic growth and maturation during adolescence, often considered within the context of the physical status, is presently being investigated in the context of the somatotype (Parizkova and Merhautova, 1971; Carter, 2006). However, with the exception of the efforts of Toriola and Igbokwe (1985) in determining the relationship between perceived physique and somatotype characteristics of 10-18 year old boys and girls resident in Iseyin in rural southwest Nigeria and Salokun (1991) on the body composition and somatotype of rural high school children, literature regarding the physique and somatotypes of Nigerian children and youth is sparse.


Classification of physique Physique, or body build, refers to an individual’s body form, the configuration of the entire body rather than its specific features. The development of physique has central importance in the study of growth, maturation, and performance (Malina et al., 2004). Physique is probably the one single aspect of the human constitution that is most amenable to systematic study because it can be readily observed (Sheldon et al., 1940; Sheldon et al., 1954; Parnell, 1958; Heath and Carter, 1967; Carter and Heath, 1990). The concept of classification of the human physique has a long history dating back to the so-called Hippocratic era. Through the ages, the concept has evolved through several systems of subjective constitutional typology. It was not until the 1940’s when William H. Sheldon and his colleagues introduced their landmark system which they termed “somatotyping”. The concept represented a major and the last of the systems of constitutional classification in human biology during the 20th century. A somatotype is a classification of physique based on the concept of shape and disregarding size. The technique of somatotyping is used to appraise body shape and composition. The somatotype is defined as the quantification of the present shape and composition of the human body (Ross and Marfell-Jones, 1991). A review of the literature indicates that from as early as the 5th century B.C., the concept of classifying the human physique has enjoyed a high status in the practice of medicine. During that period, along with other humoral doctrines, the custodians of the Hippocratic tradition offered a twofold description of people (Sheldon et al., 1969; Damon, 1970; Hunt, 1981). In this constitutional typology, it was conceived that people with long thin bodies dominated by the vertical or linear dimension (habitus phthisicus) were susceptible to tuberculosis, while those with short, thick bodies, strong in horizontal or lateral dimension (habitus apoplepticus) were


susceptible to stroke (Foucault, 1973). In the 4th century B.C., Aristotle proposed that a specific body shape “always” designated a specific character or personality, and, later in the 1st century A.D., Celsus wrote about why some people are fat and some thin. Indeed, in a 9th century Arabic version by Hunan ibn Ishaq (the physician-translator), the humoral temperaments were thought to be expressed in body builds. On the assumption that heat made for growth in stature, and that moisture for weight (stockiness), the choleric individual was tall and lean, the sanguine tall and plump, the phlegmatic short and fat, and the melancholic short and lean (Evans, 1945). Since these early efforts at classifying the human form, numerous attempts at classifying physique have been made, some rather simplistic while others more elaborate (Comas, 1957). In the 19th century, Rostan in 1828 described three types of human physique: “type digestive”, “type muscular” and “type cerebrale”. Rostan, however, did not invent this terminology. The Frenchman, Halle, had used it earlier in 1797. Later on in 1869, Samuel Wells described the human body as a “motive temperament”, a vital or “nutritional system” together with a “mental or nervous system”. He postulated that this “motive temperament” is marked by the “superior development of the osseous and the muscular system, forming the locomotor apparatus of the body”. The “vital temperament”- the principal seat of which is in the trunk- gives tone to the organization of different body parts while the mental system exerts the controlling power” (Carter and Heath, 1990). Thus, all the many efforts at describing and classifying physiques, eventually described body form in terms of two or three major types: lateral (round), muscular and linear. The development of anthropometry, however, introduced a new dimension to the study of human morphology and physique (Sheldon et al., 1940; Carter and Heath, 1990). Late in the 19th


century, Di Giovanni conducted one of the earliest anthropometric studies in the School of Clinical Anthropology (Petersen, 1967; Tittle and Wutscherk, 1972). Along with his pupil, Viola, they differentiated between three different types of human physique. Their classification referred to subjects with large, heavy bodies and relatively short limbs as “macro-splanchnic”, those with a small trunk and relatively long limbs as “micro-splanchnic” and those with intermediate variations as “normo-splanchnic”. In 1880, Huter classified human beings as “cerebral” those with a predominant ectodermic structure, “muscular”, those with a predominant mesodermic structure and “digestive”, those with a predominant endodermic structure (Carter and Heath, 1990). In “Korperbau und charakter”, Ernst Kretschmer (1931) described four physical body types viz: “Athletic”, “Pyknic”, “Asthenic” and “Dysplastic” physiques. Later he substituted the word “leptosomic” for “asthenic” and made a distinction between the linearity and the slender fragility of the leptosomic and gracility of the athletic type. The earlier systems of constitutional classification described in this preceding account represent views of the human body according to the philosophical tradition popularly referred to as essentialism, an argument that a major task of scholarship is to discover the hidden nature, form or essence of things (Mayr, 1968). Essentialism is a key concept of traditional Chinese, Indian and western medicine, as well as in vitalistic biology to this day (Lessa, 1968). Clearly, their general emphasis was on typology, which did not accommodate variation in body build within and among individuals (Tanner, 1953; Comas, 1957; Damon, 1970). The work of William Sheldon (1898-1977) and his associates, somatotyping represents the last major system of constitutional classification, especially in the early 20th century and was the first to attain worldwide recognition (Meredith, 1940). Their efforts marked the beginning of the modern era in the development of the concept of the human physique or body build. Although


the initial publication has three authors, Sheldon was the primary contributor and the method is usually attributed to him. The Sheldonian somatotype Sheldon’s essays were major contributions to the study of relationships between physique, psychology and delinquency (Carter and Heath, 1990). In 1940 he published, along with S.S. Stevens and W.B. Tucker, "The Varieties of Human Physique". They coined and described the term "somatotype" and the names of its three components, "endomorphy", "mesomorphy" and "ectomorphy". Sheldon claimed that the components were derived from the embryonic tissue layers, that is, endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm. He stated also that an individual’s somatotype was permanent. His method, based on the assessment or rating of photographs carefully taken from the front (anterior view), the rear (posterior view) and the side (lateral view) positions called “photoscopic” ratings, aided by some indices derived from the photographs, was based on 4,000 undergraduate men from the Ivy League American universities. Another book, “The Varieties of Temperament” followed in 1942, in collaboration with S.S. Stevens, and in 1949 by "The Varieties of Delinquent Youth" in collaboration with E.M. Hartl and E. McDermott. In 1954 he published, along with C.W. Dupertuis and E. McDermott, the "Atlas of Men". The latter book in particular served as a reference work for somatotyping men and reflected Sheldon's determination to continue with the constitutional approach of permanence of the somatotype. A proposed companion book, Atlas of Women, was never published. Sheldon recognized that every individual consists of a mixture of three basic components. These components vary in different degrees in an individual. The three components were originally designated as “pyknosomic”, “somatosomic” and “leptosomic”, but later substituted with the terms endomorphic, mesomorphic and ectomorphic (Carter and Heath, 1990). The approach was


based on the premise that continuous variation occurs in the distribution of physiques, and this variation is related to differential contribution of the three specific components that characterize the configuration of the body- endomorphy, mesomorphy and ectomorphy. Endomorphy, the first component, is characterized by the predominance of the digestive organs, the softness and roundness of contour throughout the body. Mesomorphy, the second component is characterized by the predominance of muscle, bone and connective tissue, so muscles are prominent with sharp definition. Ectomorphy, the third component, is characterized by the linearity and fragility of build, with limited muscular development and predominance of surface area over body mass (Carter and Heath, 1990). Each component of the physique was assessed individually. Ratings were based on a 7-point scale, with 1 representing the smallest expression and 7 representing the fullest expression (Malina et al., 2004). A component rating was always recorded together with the other two components in order to ensure that the somatotype meaning was not lost. For example, a reading of 7-1-1 represented extreme endomorphy, 1-7-1 extreme mesomorphy while a 1-1-7 implied extreme ectomorphy. The first number always referred to endomorphy, the second to mesomorphy and the third ectomorphy. Sheldon's concept of the three components of physique rated on scales from 1-7 was a unique break from the traditional categorical placement of all physiques into only 2, 3 or 4 categories. The three-number rating provided for a wide variety of possible somatotypes. Sheldon had, in fact, identified 19 different categories of the somatotype (Tanner, 1953, 1988; Barton and Hunt, 1962).The assumptions in this method were many. An individual’s somatotype does not change with age, nutritional status or state of physical training, implying a "permanent morphogenotype". Each component of the somatotype was the contribution of one of each of the three embryonic germ layers – endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm- to individual growth and


development. The concept was developed on adult males and, therefore, the change in body build during growth was not a factor. When this method was applied to children, it met with limited success (Heath, 1963; Sheldon et al., 1969). As long as Sheldon maintained that the somatotype was "permanent morphogenotype", there were persistent criticisms of the method. Human biologists and others saw greater utility in the somatotype as a “morphophenotype” - one that could change (Hunt, 1949, 1952; Hunt and Baston, 1959). The erroneous assumption that the morphogenetic pathway for the derivation of post-natal body tissues from the three embryonic or germ layers coincided with the somatotype components of Sheldon and his colleagues, and the wide criticism that followed seriously undermined the validity of the concept and severely impeded further research in the subject for nearly a decade (Baker et al., 1958; Hunt, 1981). The need for a review and possible modification of the concept became imperative. Modifications of Sheldon’s method Sheldon’s Trunk Index method In response to criticisms of his somatotype method, Sheldon developed a "new" method called the Trunk Index method (Sheldon, 1961, 1965; Sheldon et al., 1969). This consisted of planimetry of trunk areas marked on somatotype photographs, along with tables of maximal and minimal weight and stature, and a table of the somatotype height- weight ratio and trunk indices. This method, however, did not answer the main criticisms of the original method and has not been widely used (Walker, 1962; Walker and Tanner, 1980).


Parnell’s phenotype method Richard W. Parnell (1911-1985), who began his studies into physique and behavior at a pilot Student Health Service at Oxford University in 1948, measured aspects of physique and related it to behavior, achievement and temperament (Carter and Heath, 1971). He developed a method that utilized anthropometry to estimate the somatotypes. In modifying Sheldon’s method, Parnell (1954) incorporated several anthropometric dimensions to derive a phenotype, which is defined as a physique at a given point in time. Stature, body mass, three skinfolds, two limb circumferences and two bone widths were used to calculate the three components, namely fat (F), muscularity (M) and linearity (L), resembling Sheldon’s endomorphy, mesomorphy and ectomorphy component, respectively (Malina et al., 2004) and this led to his M.4 deviation chart method. He made age-adjusted scales for ratings of Fat (F), Muscularity (M) and Linearity (L). His book, "Behavior and Physique (Parnell, 1958) reported on extensive investigations into many different aspects of behavior, health, occupation and sport. Much later he developed further studies in the heritability of physiques, parental disharmonies, and family mental stress and breakdown. These studies resulted in his book, Family, Physique and Fortune (Parnell, 1984). Parnell's insight and articulate writings, and innovative approaches to analysis and interpretation of results served as an inspiration to those who followed. His highly innovative and lucid use of anthropometry renewed interest in somatotyping and paved the way for others, especially Heath and Carter whose first modifications were derived from Parnell's M.4 approach (Carter and Heath, 1986).


Heath-Carter somatotype method The Heath-Carter somatotype method is a modification of the system developed by Sheldon and his colleagues. It uses much of the original vocabulary and employs the criteria of their basic approach, which are objective and straightforward. In modifying Sheldon’s method, Heath and Carter (1967) recognized that somatotype rating is a phenotype rating, which allows for changes over time. The rating scales for the three components were opened and redefined so as to apply to the physique of both sexes at all ages. Selected anthropometric ratings were used to objectify the somatotype ratings. The component terms were redefined to reflect the conceptual modifications thus: Endomorphy - (relative fatness) is derived from the sum of three skinfolds namely triceps, subscapular and supraspinale skinfolds, after adjustments are made for stature. Mesomorphy – (relative musculo- skeletal robustness) is derived from the humerus and femur width, flexed arm girth (corrected for the thickness of the triceps skinfold) and calf girth (corrected for the thickness of medial calf skinfold). These four measurements are adjusted for stature. Carter and Heath (1990) viewed this second component as expressing fat-free mass relative to stature. Ectomorphy – third component – (relative linearity or slenderness of build) is based on stature divided by the cube root of the body mass. Each component contributes variably to the somatotype hence it is relative fatness, relative musculo- skeletal robustness and relative linearity or slenderness with reference to the entire physique, which is a composite. Although the three components are related, they are conceptually and methodologically quite different (Carter and Heath, 1990; Malina et al., 2004). 17

The Heath-Carter photoscopic somatotype ratings are based upon the standard somatotype photographs of Sheldon et al. (1940) together with a record of age, present height and weight of the subject (Heath and Carter, 1967). Accurate ratings depend upon skill in recognizing the probable ratings for each component and in reconciling photoscopic impression with appropriate somatotype (de Ridder, 2003). The HeathCarter anthropometric somatotype method allows anthropometric measurements to be assessed as well as to distinguish between differences in a given subject’s somatotype components (Carter, 1996). Furthermore, it provides an objective prelude for an anthropometric-cum-photoscopic rating when a photograph is available (Claessens et al., 1986). The Heath- Carter method provides the data for reliable somatotype ratings when minimal clothing is desirable. Measurements can be used for other analyses as well as evaluation of body structure and somatotype ratings (Carter and Heath, 1990).

Correlates of the Somatotype in human biology The protocols for specific measurements as well as the algorithms for estimation of the somatotype by the Heath-Carter anthropometric method have been elaborated by Lohman et al. (1988), Carter and Heath (1990), Norton and Olds (1996) and the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (2001). Studies of physique changes during growth permit a better understanding of the variations in the adult physique. Physique has been related to a variety of behavioral, occupational, performance and disease variables primarily in adults (Hunt, 1981; Malina, 1969; Malina and Katzmarzyk 1999). However, the influences on the development of the physique during adolescence, and its


relationships with other variables such as biologic maturity, performance and behavior have been studied less extensively (Parnell, 1958; Sheldon et al., 1969; Malina and Rarick, 1973). Relationships between components of the physique and risk factors for cardiovascular disease evident in adults may be evident in adolescents (Malina et al., 1997; Katzmarzyk et al., 1998), and relationships between physique and performance have been shown to be generally similar in youth and adults (Malina and Rarick, 1973; Malina, 1992). Data for young athletes in gymnastics and diving, for example, indicate that those who are successful tend to have physiques that are similar to adult athletes in these sports (Carter and Heath, 1990), which suggests that physique is a selection factor and perhaps a significant contributor to success in some sports (Carter, 1996). The methods used for the assessment of physique and their applicability to adolescents have been described primarily within the context of the somatotype (Sheldon et al., 1940; Sheldon et al., 1954; Parnell, 1958; Barton and Hunt, 1962; Heath, 1963; Heath and Carter, 1967; Claessens et al., 1980; Carter and Heath, 1986). Somatotype is the quantitative assessment of the physique of an individual at a given point in time (Ross and Marfell-Jones, 1991). Variation in somatotype among adolescents is known to be considerable (Tanner, 1953; Zuk, 1958; Hunt and Barton, 1959; Walker, 1962; Petersen, 1967; Tanner and Whitehouse, 1982) and the difference between sexes is especially apparent in the distribution of somatotypes in reasonably large samples of children. Changes in somatotype from childhood through adolescence have been described on the basis of observations from several cross-sectional and longitudinal studies (Walker, 1962; Petersen 1967; Carter and Parizkova, 1978; Tanner and Whitehouse, 1982; Carter et al., 1997). The somatotype appears to be a moderately stable characteristic of the individual from late childhood on (Parizkova and Carter, 1976; Claessens et al., 1986; Hebbelinck et al., 1995). The


wide variation in somatotype during adolescence may be associated with individual differences in the timing and tempo of the adolescent growth spurt and sexual maturation. Changes in somatotype during growth Anthropometric estimates of endomorphy from previous studies are generally lower than those based on the photoscopic method (Claessens et al., 1986), whereas estimates of ectomorphy are generally similar because both the photoscopic and anthropometric methods used the same stature/ weight ratio (Tanner and Whitehouse, 1982). In comparison between the photoscopic and anthropometric methods, mesomorphy appears to be the component that varies the most. The photoscopic method gives a higher estimate of mesomorphy. This observation was especially apparent in Belgian boys followed from 13 to 18 years of age (Claessens et al., 1986). Somatotypes of this longitudinal sample were estimated with a modification of Sheldon’s original procedures and with the Heath-Carter anthropometric method. In modifying the Sheldon procedures, the Parnell scale for endomorphy i.e. sum of triceps, suprascapular and suprailiac skinfolds (Parnell, 1954) and the Heath-Carter scale (Heath and Carter, 1967) for ectomorphy (height divided by the cube root of weight) were used to derive preliminary estimates of the first and third components, respectively. These estimates were then used as guides in photoscopically rating endomorphy and ectomorphy from the somatotype photographs of each boy relative to photographs in the Atlas of Men (Sheldon et al., 1954). Each boy’s somatotype photographs were compared with those of young male adults (16 to 24 years of age) in the Atlas to derive a photoscopic rating of somatotype. The method of this study is thus basically photoscopic but used anthropometric data only as a guide in the process. Estimates of somatotype based on modification of the photoscopic method and on the HeathCarter anthropometric method yield different estimates in adolescent boys. Heath- Carter


anthropometric somatotypes are generally lower in endomorphy at most ages. A similar trend was observed in Czech boys compared with the others (Parizkova and Carter, 1976). This sample, however, was engaged in regular physical activity during the course of the study, which may be related to the lower endomorphy ratings. Changes in mean components appear to be relatively small from childhood through adolescence (Walker and Tanner, 1980; Malina et al., 2004). Allowing for variation among samples for which data are available, several trends have been suggested, particularly in the anthropometric estimates of somatotypes. Endomorphy tends to increase with age in girls and to decrease with age in boys, especially during adolescence (Hebbelinck et al., 1995). Ectomorphy appears to increase with age up to the age of maximum growth in height (about 12 years of age) in girls, and then declines (Bouchard, 2004). Ectomorphy tends to increase with age from childhood into adolescence in boys, and then declines in late adolescence. Mesomorphy appears to decline with age in girls and to increase gradually with age in males; the increase is especially apparent in late adolescence (Claessens, 2004). The late adolescent decline in ectomorphy in males is probably related to late adolescence increase in mesomorphy, which is illustrated in the generally higher values for mesomorphy at 18 years of age (Carter et al., 1997). Somatotypes of two samples of boys and one sample of girls were also estimated in adulthood, thus permitting comparison of different stages of the maturation period i.e. early adolescence and late adolescence to adulthood (Zuk, 1958, Carter and Parizkova, 1978). The Czech sample of males was studied at 24 years of age, and the California sample of males and females was studied at 33 years of age. The two samples of males show an increase in mesomorphy and a decline in ectomorphy between late adolescence and adulthood. In the Czech sample of males, mean endomorphy and ectomorphy increase from 11 to 15 years, whereas mean ectomorphy


decreases from 17 to 18 years of age. The trends changed during the second stage (from 18 to 24 years of age) in which ectomorphy and endomorphy declined and mesomorphy increased. However, the sample subjects were actively training during most of adolescence, so some of the changes in late adulthood may reflect changes in the pattern of habitual physical activity, especially the effects of training on subcutaneous fatness. On the other hand, mean endomorphy remains rather stable in the sample of California males. In the females, mean endomorphy and mesomorphy increase, whereas mean ectomorphy declines between 17 and 33 years of age.

Influence of socioeconomic status on somatotype Studies have been published in central Europe (Farkas, 1986; Eiben, 1994; Romon et al., 2005), the United States (Mayer et al., 2005; Rouse and Barrow, 2006), the United Kingdom (Saxena et al., 2004; Wardle et al., 2006), the Mediterranean (Rosique and Rebato, 1995; Rebato et al., 2003), Australia (Marks et al., 2000; Adams et al., 2002) central Asia (Singh and Singh, 1991; Wang, 2001; Ghosh and Malik, 2004), Latin America (Martorell et al., 1989; Malina, 1990; Malina and Pena Reyes, 2002) and Africa (Janes, 1970; Toriola, 1990; Pawloski, 2002; Gillett and Tobias, 2002; Prista et al., 2003) that demonstrate and analyze the relationship between environmental factors such as nutrition, energy expenditure associated with physical work, the sociocultural lifestyle and the child’s physical development suggesting that remarkable differences in body dimensions and physique may exist between children when their social background is dissimilar. Established indicators of socio-economic status (SES) include mother’s level of education, father’s occupation, family size, per-capita income, the grade of modern conveniences in the habitat, the settlement’s level of urbanization, the population the community,


the quality of health care and access to medical services (Townsend et al., 1998). The different types of instruments used for assessing SES among adolescents have been reviewed by Wardle et al. (2002) including the “home affluence” scale, a popular questionnaire-based instrument listing household material items which is known to have adequate internal reliability and good external validity. There is evidence that students with poorer material circumstances are less able to report parental education and occupation whereas material-based questions showed less bias. Furthermore, the non-applicability of some of the indices of socioeconomic status to many developing countries has been highlighted by Onwujekwe et al. (2006) suggesting the need to adopt simpler and easily-verifiable criteria. The use of proxies of SES such as area of residence and the type of school attended has been reviewed in Wardle et al. (2006) The socio-economic status of the family is often reflected in the type of school attended by the children since economically advantaged families often prefer fee-paying, private school to minimal-fee paying public school because they are better funding to provide superior educational facilities and a more positive learning environment (McMurray et al., 2002; Prista et al., 2003). Thus, the type of school attended by a child (school type) is a reliable proxy indicator of the socio-economic status of adolescent urban Nigerian children in Lagos. RATIONALE FOR THE STUDY The current non-availability of a comprehensive anthropometric database for adolescent growth developed for African populations is a major challenge for growth research (Carter, 1996). Human biologic diversity in Africa today appears to reflect more the diversity of the continent’s many environments rather than the variability inherent in its peoples (Cameron, 1991). This adult diversity, while having a major genetic component, has been interpreted as the result of the


impoverished environment endemic to African countries (Cameron, 1992). The effects of malnutrition and disease probably combine to mask the underlying growth pattern hence much of what is currently known of the growth of African children is based on data that are tainted by the adverse environment endemic to Africa (Cameron et al., 1998). Although anthropometry is the single most portable, universally applicable, inexpensive and non-invasive technique for assessing the size, proportions, and composition of the human body, reflecting both health and nutritional status and predicting performance, health and survival, it is still an underused tool for guiding public health policy and clinical decisions (WHO, 1995). While height, weight, and the body mass index (BMI) have been used in many nutritional surveys, corresponding data for other body dimensions and indices are very limited (Carter, 1996). Furthermore, the reports of several studies reviewed in Ukoli et al. (1993), and Spiegel et al. (2004) comparing the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Growth Charts reference data with data from other countries and continents suggest that the American reference data may not adequately describe non-US populations. Thus it is recommended that individual countries develop databases describing their local situations (de Onis and Habicht, 1996). Majority norms of body dimensions for Nigerian adolescent schoolchildren are not readily available at the present time. It may be surprising to note that the available scientific literature suggests that the earlier cross-sectional studies of Johnson (1970, 1971 and 1972) in the urban Lagos area are yet to be complimented by more recent data. These data sets have been included in the global survey report by the FAO (2000) earlier referred to in this report. The survey report,


however, noted that the small sample sizes of the datasets were a major constraint to their acceptability as representative of the population from which they were drawn (Marshall, 1981). Other related adolescent studies by Omololu et al. (1981) carried out at Ile-Ife, Osun state, Ukoli et al. (1993) at Benin, Edo state and Ukegbu et al. (2007) at Umuahia, Abia state, however, represent other geographical locations outside the Lagos area. The efforts of Toriola and Igbokwe (1985) in determining the relationship between perceived physique and somatotype characteristics of adolescent boys and girls in Iseyin, a semi-rural community in Osun state, southwest Nigeria and Salokun (1991) on the perceived somatotype as related to self-concept in Nigerian adolescent students at a secondary school in Ibadan, an urban metropolis in Oyo state, southwest Nigeria have yet to be complimented by studies of the influence of the widely varied socioeconomic circumstances on the physical growth of the urban adolescent population. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM The literature has documented several studies, reviewed in Carter (2006), describing and analyzing the somatotypes of adolescent children from around the world and from other regions in Nigeria. However, there remains, still, a dearth of scientific literature on the somatotypes of the urban Lagos adolescent population. The status and pattern of growth among adolescent school children in urban Lagos have yet to be described and documented using an internationally acceptable procedure that could produce norm-reference data for this population. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY The results of this study will provide verifiable information regarding size, body composition and body build distribution patterns of the urban Nigerian adolescent population. At a glance, it


will be possible to identify the malnourished individuals as well as their location in the community. The data will be a reliable normative reference data set useful in the determination of appropriate age- and size-related medication dosages and nutritional requirements. The identification of the segments of the adolescent population that is at risk for adult health disorders in this age group will improve prognosis following early intervention. This may be useful to health professionals and insurance policy managers. Dress-makers and manufacturers in the garment industry will benefit from data that will enhance accurate determination of appropriate sizing and fitting of clothes for the rapidly growing adolescents. The results may further provide useful baseline data for sports and fitness coaches interested in the physical characteristics of the adolescent youth for the purposes of talent identification, the monitoring of training programmes and the scientific prediction of adult performance that are specific to their sport. Parents, clinical and sport psychologists may find the results of somatotype distribution useful for body-image analysis of adolescent children with various kinds of psychological disorders arising from their perception of the changes in their physical appearance during their growing years. This would positively impact on their self-confidence and performance. The potential of this study to advance into a longitudinal study at the school, university, city, state and nationwide levels with the possible consequence of a study comparable with the


Ellisras, Nijmegen, Harpenden, Fels and Harvard projects is considerable. In that likely eventuality, the cohort of this study should form the baseline or reference group.

AIM OF STUDY The overall aims of this study are to characterize, describe and analyze the morphology and the somatotype distribution patterns in terms of absolute body size, body proportion and the somatotypes of adolescent children in urban Lagos.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The specific objectives of this study are to: 1. Assess the physical status of adolescent Nigerian boys and girls attending both private and public secondary schools in urban Lagos. 2. Measure the body composition indices of adolescent Nigerian boys and girls attending both private and public secondary schools in urban Lagos 3. Describe the somatotype distribution of adolescent boys and girls attending private and public secondary schools in urban Lagos. 4. Analyze the body size and somatotype data itemized in 1-3 above. 5. Compare the data derived from 1-4 above with those derived from other populations around Nigeria and the world.



The null hypothesis is that there is no significant difference in the stature, body mass, body mass index, height weight ratio and somatotype characteristics between the private school and public schoolchildren in urban Lagos.

DEFINITION OF TERMS Growth: An increase in the size of the body as a whole and or the size attained by specific parts of the body. Postnatal life: Life after birth. It is commonly, although somewhat arbitrarily, divided into three or four age periods. Neonatal period: The first month after birth. Infancy: The first year of life from the end of the first month up to but not including the first birthday. Childhood: Extends from the end of infancy (the first birthday) to the start of adolescence. Early childhood: Includes the preschool years. It extends from the first birthday up to but not including age 5.0 years (i.e. 1.0 to 4.99 years). Middle childhood: Extends from 5.0 years to the beginning of adolescence. It includes the elementary school years into primary five and six. Adolescence: World Health Organization (WHO, 1995) defines the age of adolescence as between 10 and 18 years. However, certain authorities’ regard the age ranges of 8 to 19 years in girls and 10 and 22 years in boys as more appropriate limits for normal variation in the onset and termination of adolescence.


Adulthood: The attainment of full structural and functional maturity. The definition of 18 years as age of full maturity of an individual is legal and not biological. Physical status: The size attained at a given point in time. Maturity status: The state of maturation attained at a given point in time. Somatic growth: Growth of the external body “structure” including skin, subcutaneous tissue, skeletal muscles and bones. Frankfort plane: A horizontal plane passing through the superior limb of the tragus of the earthe tragion landmark- and the lower border of the eye socket- the orbitale landmark. ICH/PC: Institute of Child Health and Primary Care of the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Idi-Araba.

MATERIALS AND METHODS Study Description The study was a cross-sectional survey conducted among adolescent Nigerian schoolchildren resident in urban Lagos. The sample The Mendelian nature of the study population was assessed. Oral interview results indicated that the subjects in the sample were from Christian, Moslem or traditional African religious and sociocultural backgrounds. The “caste system” of marriage, which restricts intermarrying across “caste” barriers, is rarely practiced in West Africa and marriage laws in Nigeria do not restrict conjugal relationships across ethnic groups or social class (Hedrick, 2000; Ghosh and Malik, 2004). It was, therefore established that the subjects were born through conjugal relationships that do not restrict transmission of genetic traits from parent to offspring in any specifically


defined manner. The subject population may thus be considered a heterogeneous Mendelian population.

Inclusion Criteria School records and the response to individualized questioning established that the subjects were normally resident in metropolitan Lagos. The ethno-cultural distribution of the biological parentage of the subjects is given in table 1 below. The Nigerian ethnic groups represented in the sample included Yoruba, Ibo, Edo, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Ijaw, Ibibio, Efik, Annang, Igala, HausaFulani, Nupe, Idoma and Tiv.

Table 1 Ethnic distribution of subject population ETHNIC CATEGORY OF SUBJECT’S PROPORTION OF PARENTAGE REPRESENTED (%) Mono-ethnic Nigerian (e.g. Ibo versus Ibo) 61 Mixed Nigerian national (e.g. Ibo versus Yoruba) 36 SAMPLE

Mixed Nigerian transnational (Nigerian to non- <3 Nigerian)

Exclusion Criteria The following categories of children were excluded from the current study: Pure-breed Caucasian, African and Near East Semitics (Jews and Arabs) and Far East Asian children; the acutely-ill and the physically challenged; children on any form of continuous medication;


children with poor health conditions that manifested with overt signs of stunted growth or physical emaciation; grotesquely obese children to avoid potentially excessive errors in measurement and also for whom exposure before other children might cause undue embarrassment (ISAK, 2001).

Sampling procedure Sampling technique The subjects for this study were selected using a systematic, multistage, randomized stratified sampling technique to arrive at the final sample for the study. The arguments for this choice have been elaborated in Kalton (1983) and Rumsey (2003). The full co-operation of the school authorities enabled free access to the class lists before the sampling commenced. Dates of birth of subjects were collected from the school registers, and confirmed from the subjects individually. In case of an anomaly, subjects were requested to confirm from their parents. Decimal age of each subject was calculated by subtracting the date of birth of the subject from the date of data collection, using decimal age calendar (Marshall and Tanner, 1969, 1970). All subjects between 13.51 and 14.50 years were classified in the age group 14 years, while those falling between 14.51 and 15.50 were included in the age group of 15 years. The same principle was applied throughout to classify subjects in appropriate age groups. The sample consisted of 3498 volunteer males and females (1565 males, 1933 females) aged between 10-16 years drawn from a total of eight secondary schools with a total population size of 11,600. These were four private, school fee-paying schools representing the high and middle income class and four public, non-school fee-paying schools representing the low income class. The private schools charged a minimum of fifty thousand naira (N50, 000.00) per term as tuition fees. All schools were located within five randomly selected local government areas in


metropolitan or urban Lagos. These were: Surulere, Mushin, Lagos Mainland, Kosofe and Ikeja. The list of all secondary schools (including registered private and public) located in Lagos State was obtained from the State Schools Management Board. This list, serialized by local government area and wards, permitted quick identification and the development of the appropriate sampling frame to select the schools. Sample stratification The method used for the distribution of the subjects into gender, agerange and socioeconomic status stratum sample units is the Neyman’s Optimum Allocation (Neyman, 1958). This procedure, a special kind of the Optimal Allocation method, enables the selection of the best sample size per stratum to achieve the maximum precision for a fixed sample size at the least cost. I sought to maximize the information gathered through the systematic and randomized stratified sampling procedure and to guarantee adequate representation to each stratum of the sample. The equation for Neyman’s Allocation is given in equation (1) below as: nh = n * (Nh * Sh ) / [ Σ ( Ni * Si ) ] (1)

where nh is the sample size for the stratum h, n is the total sample size, Nh is the population size for the stratum h, and Sh is the standard deviation of stratum h. Accordingly, the minimum sample size per stratum was computed to achieve maximum precision at a predetermined confidence level of 95%. A previous study of adolescent children similarly stratified by age group, gender and socioeconomic status (Prista et al., 2003) had selected 81 boys and 131 girls at age group of 10- years with a mean stature of 139.3 cm ± 7.4 for boys and 139.5 cm ± 7.7 for girls. Assuming the entire population of 11,600 schoolchildren has equal proportions of boys and


girls in the 8 secondary schools, the minimum number of boys (nb) to be allocated to each stratum by the Neyman criteria is given in equation (2) by: n b = 222 * (5800 * 7.4) / [ ( 5800 * 7.4) + (5800 * 7.7 ) ] = 109 boys (2)

The minimum number of girls (n g) to be allocated to the group of 10-year old girls is given in equation (3) as: n g = 222-109 = 113 girls (3)

The sample size allocation design has been compared with the allocation procedures adopted for recently reported cross-sectional studies and shown to be valid and consistent (Meszaros et al., 2002; Prista et al., 2003). The results are reported in table 1 of the results section. Institutional Approval for the Study Ethical Clearance To conduct this study ethical clearance was obtained from the Research Grants and Experimentation Ethics Committee of the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos (CMUL) prior to the commencement of sampling and measurements in all the schools (see appendix 1). Also approval was obtained from the authorities at the Local Education Districts supervising the administration of the selected public secondary schools and from the proprietors of the participating private schools. Informed Consent


Consent was obtained from each subject that participated in the study and their parents (see appendix 2). This was after the purpose and procedure of measurement had been carefully explained to them. A clear indication of full comprehension and acceptance to participate was received from them. Strict compliance with local or institutional rules regarding consent for every individual subject was ensured. All subjects received a guarantee of preservation of their personal space throughout the measurement exercise. Their right to withdraw- if so desired- at any stage of the study was also stated clearly to them. All measurements recorded belong to only those who gave full consent. Anthropometry Tester/ measurer selection The preparations for anthropometry involved the training of volunteer measurers in anthropometric measurements according to ISAK’s protocol to the standard of level 1 Technician (ISAK, 2001) in the Department of Anatomy, CMUL by the researcher, an ISAKcertified anthropometrist, with the assistance of a female ISAK-certified anthropometrist. The volunteers were:1) post-graduate Masters of Science (M.Sc) students in the Department of Anatomy and 2) 600 level medical students at ICH/PC postings in Maternal and Child Health. Each measurer was required to undertake reliability testing as part of their training and to achieve technical errors within internationally accepted limits (Ross, 1984; Mueller and Martorell, 1988; De Ridder, 2003; Carter and Ackland, 1994; Monyeki, 2003). This procedure has been validated by previous work (Adams et al., 2002; Prista et al., 2003).

Measurement protocol


A total of 10 measurements were taken according to the protocols recommended in the International Standards for Anthropometric Assessment published by the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK, 2001). The measurements included: 1) Two basic: - body mass and stature 2) Four skinfolds: - triceps, subscapular, supraspinale and medial calf skinfolds 3) Two bone breadths: - humerus and femur 4) Two maximum girths: - upper-arm (flexed and tensed) and calf. A full description of each measurement is given herein. They complied strictly with those described in the ISAK manual (ISAK, 2001). All anthropometric measurements were taken by the select trained field testers with the exception of the skinfold measurement which were done by the certified anthropometrists only, the researcher attending all the male subjects while the female assistant certified anthropometrist attended all the female subjects.

Measurement procedure Subject selection for the study was done at the various school locations. The measurements were taken in carefully selected clean, well-lit and well-ventilated rooms within the school premises between 9.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. each day. The measurement stations were arranged in the “steeplechase” format, allowing for quicker movements and fewer delays between measurements. Personnel consisting of one measurer, an observer and one recorder manned each station. At the outset of measurements, all anatomical sites for measurements of skinfolds and limb segment circumference or girth and bone breadths were determined and marked using a felt-tipped, non-toxic and non-permanent marker. Each subject was required to rotate through the steeplechase twice so that the measurer repeated each measurement “blind”. This was to allow


for the determination of the intra-observer (intra-class) technical error of measurement or intraclass correlation (ICC) for each measurement. This exercise served the additional role of a dress rehearsal of the procedure to be used in all the school locations.

Equipment for anthropometry 1. Stadiometer: GPM Anthropometer from Siber-Hegner® customized with adapted foot plate. 2. Broca plane: A customized triangular head board. 3. Anthropometric tape: The Lufkin specialty Executive® Diameter flexible steel measuring tape (W606PM) 4. Bone caliper: From Siber-Hegner® which has extended branches with round pressure plates. 5. Skinfold caliper: The Slim Guide® skinfold calipers (Creative Health Products, Plymouth, Michigan, USA). 6. Weighing machine: The spring type balance (SECA alpha® model 770, Germany) with an electronic meter calibrated in kilograms and tenths of kilograms (full capacity scale -150 kg). 7. Measuring platform: A one-foot-square plywood platform or foot-plate leveled by wooden vertical shims was customized and utilized throughout the study. 8. Personnel – five persons: the tester/measurer, the observer, the recorder, two supervising certified anthropometrists and quality assurance persons Measurement techniques Basic measurements Stature (height): This was taken against a stadiometer or height scale calibrated to the accuracy of 1mm. Stature was taken with the subject in full inspiration standing straight, against the stadiometer, touching the wall with heels, buttocks and back, the head orientated in the Frankfort


plane with the foot-heels kept together while a headboard (Broca’s plane) was lowered until it firmly touched the vertex of the head. Body mass (weight): This was taken with the subject, wearing minimal clothing i.e. the school uniform without shoes, standing in the center of the scale platform. Body mass was recorded to the nearest tenth of a kilogram. To determine the “nude” body mass for subsequent calculations, a correction in body mass was made for the subject’s clothing by deducting a mass equal to the mean of a small number of sample uniforms belonging to children of the same age-range. Furthermore, the subject was known to have had the last meal at least two hours before commencement of measurement.

Skinfolds thickness At the previously marked anatomical site, a fold of skin and subcutaneous tissue was firmly raised between thumb and forefinger of the left hand and away from the underlying muscle. The edges of the skinfold plate were applied on the caliper branches 1 cm below the fingers of the left hand and then allowed to exert their full pressure before reading off within two seconds the thickness of the fold. All skinfolds were taken on the right side of the body. The subject stood relaxed, except for the calf skinfold, which was taken with the subject seated. Triceps skinfold: With the subject's arm hanging loosely in “The Anatomical Position”, the tester raised a fold at the back of the arm at a marked site located halfway down a line connecting the acromiale landmark and the radiale landmark.


Subscapular skinfold: The tester raised the subscapular skinfold at a marked site located 2cm down a line from the inferior angle of the scapula in a direction that is obliquely downwards and laterally at 45 degrees. Supraspinale skinfold: The skinfold was raised at a marked point above the anterior superior iliac spine where a marked diagonal line going downwards and medially at approximately 45 degrees from the anterior axillary border meets with another marked horizontal line drawn from the tubercle of the iliac crest. This skinfold was formerly called “suprailiac” (Tanner, 1962) or anterior suprailiac (Parnell, 1958). The name has been changed to distinguish it from other skinfolds called "suprailiac", but taken at different locations (Carter and Heath, 1990). Medial calf skinfold: The tester raised a vertical skinfold at a marked site located on the medial side of the leg, at the level of the maximum girth of the calf.

Biepicondylar breadth 1. Humerus. This is the width between the medial and lateral epicondyles of the humerus,

with the shoulder and elbow flexed to 90 degrees. The bone caliper was applied at an angle approximately bisecting the angle of the elbow. Firm pressure was placed on the crossbars in order to compress the subcutaneous tissue. 2. Femur. The subject was seated with knee bent at a right angle. The tester measured the

greatest distance between the lateral and medial epicondyles of the femur with firm pressure on the crossbars in order to compress the subcutaneous tissue.



1. Upper arm girth (elbow flexed and tensed) The subject flexed the shoulder to 90 degrees and the elbow to 45 degrees, clenched the hand, and maximally contracted the elbow flexors and extensors. The measurement was taken at the greatest girth of the arm. 2. Calf girth (right). The subject stood with feet slightly apart. The tester placed the tape around the calf and measured the maximum circumference. Stature and girths were read off to the nearest mm, biepicondylar diameters to the nearest 0.5 mm, and skinfolds to the nearest 0.5 mm. All measurements (including skinfolds) were taken on the right side as is traditionally recommended for large surveys (Norton and Olds, 1996; ISAK, 2001).

Quality Control Measurement Error The validity of the somatotype rating depends on the reliability of the measurements used. To determine measurement error intrinsic to this study, the two measures of validity given below were used: Technical error of measurement (TEM) Intra-class Correlation Coefficient (ICC) The procedures used are described briefly below. The technical error of Measurement (TEM) A measure of precision or replicability (Malina et al., 1973), this included:


Intratester TEM: Six measurements, taken by each tester on the same set of subjects, were repeated “blind”. The six “pairs” of measurement were then compared using the equation (4) given as follows: TEM = [∑d2/2n] 0.5 (4)

Where d = difference between the first and second measures of each measurement used and n = number of measurement sites on the subjects (Cameron, 1984, Norton and Olds, 1996). This test is the most basic indicator of the individual tester’s expertise at taking precise measurement. Intertester TEM: Six measurements were each taken by both the tester and the quality assurance person (certified anthropometrist). This “pair” of measurements was also compared using the equation given above. The subjects, variables and measurement procedures used for the two types of TEM were the same and the tests had to be carried out independently. Since one of the testers is a certified anthropometrist, the intertester TEM can be used as a measure of accuracy. The TEM provides an estimate of the measurement error that is in the units of measurement of the variable. This value indicates that two thirds of the time a measurement should come within +/- of the TEM (Mueller and Martorell, 1988). Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC): this is a measure of accuracy of the test measurements. Accuracy is the degree to which repeated measurements of the same variable approximate those of a standard of reference under the same measurement conditions. It is the proportion of the observed measurement variance that is accounted for by the true score variance (de Ridder, 2003; Malina et al., 2004). The equation for intra-class correlation coefficient of reliability, r, is given as equation (5) below:


r = (so2 - se2)/so2



so is the observed measurement variance and se is the error variance. In this equation, the factor (so2 - se2) represents the true measurement variance. Data collation and presentation Data collation All data was entered into a desktop personal computer installed with Microsoft Windows XP® unlimited operational system located in the Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos. Sorting was carried out using Microsoft Excel® software package. This package has been shown to be adequate for the storage of anthropometric data. This enabled the organization of all data prior to analysis. All the measurement data were thereafter used either singularly or in combination and with the appropriate algorithms (equations) to determine the following morphologic characteristics: Physical status indices include the following: 1. Stature (height) 2. Body mass (weight) Body composition indices include the following: 1. Body mass index (BMI) - Quetelet index 2. Height-weight Ratio (HWR) - Reciprocal of Ponderal Index (Sheldon index) The algorithm for HWR and BMI are given as equations (6) and (7) below: Height- weight ratio (HWR) = stature (cm) Body mass (kg) 0.333 Body mass index (BMI) = body mass (kg) Stature (m)2 (7) (6)


Data presentation The physical structure and body composition characteristics are presented as tables of descriptive statistics showing the variation of each characteristic with chronological age, gender and socioeconomic status. Tables for the characteristics presented include: 1. Stature 2. Body mass 3. Body mass index (BMI) 4. Height-Weight Ratio (HWR) For inferential statistics, all statistical analyses were performed using the SPSS 11.0 for Windows statistical software package. This package has been shown to be adequate for use in the analysis of anthropometric data. The analyzed data were thereafter double-checked for systematic and random errors by comparing the results with the same data analyzed manually. Descriptive statistics for the subjects attending both public and private schools were calculated for the relevant variables for this study. The Students t-statistic was used to compute the statistical significance of differences observed among the boys and girls of either category of schools.

Somatotypes The following algorithms were used in the calculation and analysis of somatotype data.

The anthropometric somatotype components Endomorphy = - 0.7182 + 0.1451*(X) - 0.00068 *(X2) + 0.0000014*(X3) Mesomorphy = (0.858 HB + 0.601 FB +0.188 CAG + 0.161 CCG) - (0.131 H) + 4.5 (8) (9)


Ectomorphy: If HWR ≥ 40.75, then 1. Ectomorphy = 0.732 HWR - 28.58 (10)

If HWR < 40.75 and > 38.25, then 2. Ectomorphy = 0.463 HWR-17.63 (11)

If HWR < 38.25, then 3. Ectomorphy = 0.1 (or recorded as ½) (12)

Where: X = (sum of triceps, subscapular and supraspinale skinfolds) multiplied by (170.18/height in cm); HB = humerus breadth; FB = femur breadth; CAG = corrected arm girth; CCG = corrected calf girth; H = height; HWR = height (cm) / cube root of weight. CAG and CCG are the girths corrected for the triceps or calf skinfolds respectively as follows: CAG = flexed arm girth - triceps skinfold/10; CCG = maximal calf girth - calf skinfold/10.

Plotting somatotypes on the 2-D somatochart X-coordinate = ectomorphy – endomorphy Y-coordinate = 2 x mesomorphy - (endomorphy + ectomorphy) Somatotype frequency categories The plotting of the somatochart displays the individual somatotypes within specific somatotype categories on the chart. Sheldon et al. (1940) originally conceived of nineteen categories of somatotype. These were later redefined and reduced to thirteen by Heath and Carter (1967). The thirteen categories have been defined in Carter and Heath (1990). The latter based the definition of these categories on the somatochart as follows: 1. Balance endomorph - endomorphy is dominant and mesomorphy and ectomorphy are equal (or do not differ by more than one half unit). --------- (13) --------- (14)


2. Mesomorphic endomorph - endomorphy is dominant and mesomorphy is greater than ectomorphy. 3. Mesomorph endomorph - endomorphy and mesomorphy are equal or do not differ by more than one half unit and ectomorphy is less. 4. Endomorphic mesomorph - mesomorphy is dominant and endomorphy is greater than ectomorphy. 5. Balanced mesomorphy - mesomorphy is dominant and endomorphy and ectomorphy are equal or do not differ by more than one half unit. 6. Ectomorphic mesomorph - mesomorphy is dominant and ectomorphy is greater than endomorphy. 7. Mesomorph ectomorph - mesomorphy and ectomorphy are equal or do not differ by more than one half unit and endomorphy is lower. 8. Mesomorphic ectomorph - ectomorphy is dominant and mesomorphy is greater than endomorphy. 9. Balanced ectomorph - ectomorphy is dominant and endomorphy and mesomorphy are equal or do not differ by more than one half unit. 10. Endomorphic ectomorph - ectomorphy is dominant and endomorphy is greater than mesomorphy. 11. Endomorph ectomorph - endomorphy and ectomorphy are equal or do not differ by more than one half unit and mesomorphy is lower. 12. Ectomorphic endomorph - endomorphy is dominant and ectomorph is greater than mesomorphy. 13. Central - no components differ from the other by more than one unit.


Somatotype categories are reported in category charts (tables) presented immediately below the corresponding somatochart.

Somatotype analysis Two-dimensional analyses 1. Somatotype attitudinal distance (SAD). The SAD is the exact difference, in component units between two somatotypes (A, an individual or group and B, an individual or group), or between two somatotype group means (e.g. A and B), or between a subject and a group mean (e.g. subject A and group mean B). For the purpose of this study, the third situation is applicable as shown in equation (15) thus: SAD A;B = Σ √[(ENDO A - ENDO B)2 + (MESO A - MESO B) 2 + (ECTO A - ECTO B) 2 ] (15) Where: ENDO = endomorphy; MESO = mesomorphy; ECTO = ectomorphy; A = each individual somatotype, B = sub-group mean somatotype for each age group/stratum. 2. The somatotype attitudinal means (SAM) The somatotypes attitudinal mean (SAM) is the mean of a group of somatotypes and is given by the equation (16) below: SAM = Σ SADi / nX (16)

where: SADi = somatotype of each subject minus the mean somatotype of the group; nx is the number in the group x. The somatotype attitudinal variance (SAV) is the variance of the group. SAV = Σ SAD2i / nx The standard deviation of the somatotypes about SAM is given by the equation SAM = √SAV (18) (17)


3. Somatotype Analysis of Variance (SANOVA) Comparisons between independent samples Sample groups (strata) would be compared either as pairs of independent samples or as multiple groups or samples. In the former situation, somatotype analysis for two-dimensional distributions (SADs and SAMs) will be carried out with the aid of the t-statistic. Differences between independent pairs of sample were assessed using the t-ratio. The algorithm for calculating the tratio is given below: 1. t-ratio: t = ¢1 - ¢2 / 0.5[Σ (SAD21) + Σ (SAD22) / (n1 + n2 - 2) * (1/n1 + 1/n2)] (19)

Where: ¢1 = mean of group 1, ¢2 = mean of group 2; SAD1 and n1, and SAD2 and n2, refer to groups 1 and 2 respectively. When multiple sample groups were to be compared, a special type of analysis of variance known as somatotype analysis of variance (SANOVA) that was developed to analyze whole somatotypes (Carter et al.1983; Carter and Heath, 1990) was utilized and the table of F-statistic was used to determine statistically significant differences. The algorithms for SANOVA are given below: 2. F-ratio: F = (SS t / df t) / (SS e / df e) = MS t / MS e SS t = Σnj (¢j - Mo) 2, and SS e = Σ Σ (SAD2j) SS t1 = n1 (¢1 - Mo) 2, and SS t2 = n2 (¢2 - Mo)2 (20) (21) (22) where

the subscripts t = treatment; e = error; j = j groups; Mo = overall mean somatotype for combined groups; MS = mean square; SS = sum of squares; 1, 2 = group labels


4. Somatotype frequency analysis This involves the comparison of Category charts. For analysis of the frequencies and relative frequencies of somatotype in each category chart, non-parametric tests including comparative ratio analysis and the chi-square statistic will be used to determine the difference between age, gender and school type groups.

RESULTS Sampling Distribution This study involved a total of 3498 subjects, 1565 males and 1933 females, classified into strata by Neyman Optimum Allocation procedure to ensure that the sample sizes for the males were not less than 109. However, availability of subjects permitted sample sizes that were greater than 113 for the females (see table 2). Table 2 Stratified sampling distribution of all subjects by age range, gender and school

type into strata After the Optimal Allocation procedure of Neyman (1958)


Age Range (years) 9.51-10.50 10.51-11.50 11.51-12.50 12.51-13.50 13.51-14.50 14.51-15.50 15.51-16.50 Total Stature

Age groups 10± 0.5 11± 0.5 12± 0.5 13± 0.5 14± 0.5 15± 0.5 16± 0.5 7

Private schoolboys (PRB) 113 116 115 109 110 113 112 788

Public schoolboys (PUB) 112 110 113 112 109 111 110 777

Private schoolgirls (PRG) 118 135 140 142 135 142 134 946

Public schoolgirls (PUG) 129 127 149 146 147 148 141 987

Total 472 488 517 609 601 514 497 3498

The descriptive and inferential statistical data for stature (height) are summarized in table 3. The data is presented as mean and standard deviation (mean ± SD). The large standard deviations in all groups indicate wide variation in measurement sizes. The mean stature of private school boys (PRB) increased consistently from 143.1(7.3) cm at 10 years to 172.8 (8.2) cm at 16 years while the mean stature of the public school boys (PUB) also increased steadily from 135.9 (7.9) cm at age 10 years to attain 167.6 (8.0) cm at age 16 years. The mean difference between the school types per age group was statistically significant at all ages (p< 0.05). The mean stature of private school girls (PRG) increased from 143.7 (8.1) cm at age 10 years to 162.0 (6.0) cm at 16 years. The mean difference at all age groups compared was statistically significant (p<0.05). One-way Analysis of variance (ANOVA) test comparing all four strata (male and female) per age-group showed non-significant F-ratio values except at age 16 years when PRB was compared with PUG (p<0.016). Up to the age of 13 years the PRG, at 143.7-158.8 cm, were the tallest of all the four groups compared. However, this difference was not statistically significant. While PRG (164.4 cm) remained taller than the PUB (162.0 cm) at the age of 15 years, the PRB (164.4 cm) had attained to the tallest stature among all the 4 groups by the age of 14 years and remained


tallest (172.8 cm) at 16 years. By 16 years, both male groups had attained to a taller stature than the two female groups.

Body mass The descriptive and inferential statistical data for body mass (weight) are summarized in table 4. The mean body mass for private school boys (PRB) increased from 35.2 (7.8) kg at 10 years to reach a mean body mass of 60.5 (10.5) kg at 16 years. The mean body mass of public school boys (PUB) increased from 28.8 (4.1) kg at 10 years to attain to 56.4 (8.7) kg at 16 years. At all ages from 10 to 16 years, the mean difference between PRB and PUB was highly significant even at p< 0.01.

Table 3 Descriptive and inferential statistics for stature (cm) Group Age-range 9.51-10.50 10.51-11.50 11.51-12.50 12.51-13.50 13.51-14.50 14.51-15.50 15.51-16.50
a b

PRB Mean (±SD) 143.1 (7.3) 147.5 (8.1) 153.7 (8.4) 158.3 (9.5) 164.4 (9.4) 171.2 (7.7) 172.8 (8.2)

PUB Mean (±SD) 135.9 (7.9)a 143.7 (8.1) a 145.5 (7.1) a 149.6 (8.6) a 156.6 (9.0) a 162.9 (9.3) a 167.6 (8.0) a

PRG Mean (±SD) 143.7 (8.1) 152.0 (7.4) 155.2 (7.5) 158.8 (7.6) 161.2 (7.8) 164.4 (6.8) 162.0 (6.0)

PUG Mean (±SD) 138.6 (8.5)b 143.6 (8.2) b 148.5 (7.9) b 153.3 (8.1) b 155.3 (6.6) b 155.6 (6.2) b 158.2 (5.3) b

, ; significant at p<0.05


SD = standard deviation, PRB = Private school boys, PUB = Public school boys, PRG = Private school girls, PUG = Public school girls. Table 4 Descriptive and inferential statistics for body mass (kg) Group PRB PUB PRG PUG

Age range(years) Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD a 9.51-10.50 35.2 (7.8) 28.8 (4.1) 36.4 (9.2) 31.4 (6.1) b 10.51-11.50 39.3 (10.1) 33.8 (6.2) a 44.6 (10.8) 33.8 (6.5) b 11.51-12.50 43.4 (12.3) 35.8 (7.8) a 46.3 (9.5) 40.9 (9.0) b 12.51-13.50 46.8 (12.0) 37.8 (8.0) a 49.8 (12.2) 43.8 (9.2) b 13.51-14.50 52.1 (11.7) 44.8 (8.2) a 54.5 (11.7) 47.1 (7.9) b 14.51-15.50 58.2 (11.1) 51.8 (10.2) a 57.2 (11.4) 46.3 (6.7) b 15.51-16.50 60.5 (10.5) 56.4 (8.7) a 55.8 (10.0) 53.4 (7.0) a, b ; significant at p<0.05 SD = standard deviation, PRB = Private school boys, PUB = Public school boys, PRG = Private school girls, PUG = Public school girls.

The mean body mass of private school girls (PRG) increased from 36.4 (9.2) kg at age 10 years to attain to 55.8 (10.0) kg at age 16 years. The mean body mass of public schoolgirls (PUG) increased from 31.4 (6.1) kg at age 10 years to 53.4 (7.0) kg at 16 years. The mean differences between female school types were highly significant even at p< 0.01 at all ages except at age 16 years, where the mean difference was non-significant. The large standard deviations also indicate the wide variation in individual measures.

Height-weight ratio (HWR) The descriptive and inferential statistical data for height-weight ratio (HWR) are summarized in table 5. The mean HWR for private school boys (PRB) varied little between 44.0 (2.2) at 10 years and a mean HWR of 44.2 (2.2) at 16 years with a range of 43.8- 44.6. The mean HWR of


public school boys (PUB) varied from 44.7 (1.6) at 10 years to 43.9 (1.6) at 16 years. A comparison of the data using a paired-sample t-test at all ages from 10 to 16 years indicated that the mean difference between PRB and PUB was not significant at p< 0.05 except at 11 years (p<0.046). The mean HWR of private school girls (PRG) varied from 43.8 (2.2) at age 10 years to 42.6 (2.4) at age 16 years with a range of 42.6- 43.3. The mean HWR of public schoolgirls (PUG) varied from 44.2 (2.2) at age 10 years to 44.2 (1.6) at 16 years. A comparison of the data using a pairedsample t-test at all ages from 10 to 16 years indicated that the mean difference between PRG and PUG was not significant at p< 0.05 except at 11 years (p<0.001).

Table 5 Descriptive statistics for height-weight ratio (HWR) Group Age Range 9.51-10.50 10.51-11.50 11.51-12.50 12.51-13.50 13.51-14.50 14.51-15.50 15.51-16.50
a, b

PRB Mean SD 44.0 (2.2) 43.8 (2.2) 44.2 (2.4) 44.3 (2.5) 44.3 (2.0) 44.3 (2.0) 44.2 (2.2)

PUB Mean SD 44.7 (1.6) 44.6 (1.8) a 44.4 (2.0) 44.8 (1.2) 44.3 (1.7) 43.9 (1.4) 43.9 (1.6)

PRG Mean SD 43.8 (2.2) 43.3 (2.3) 43.5 (2.1) 43.6 (2.3) 42.8 (2.2) 43.0 (2.0) 42.6 (2.4)

PUG Mean SD 44.2 (2.2) 44.7 (1.6) b 43.5 (2.2) 43.8 (1.7) 43.2 (2.2) 43.5 (1.5) 42.2 (1.6)

;significant at p<0.05; SD = standard deviation, PRB = Private school boys, PUB = Public school boys, PRG = Private school girls, PUG = Public school girls. Table 6 Descriptive and comparative statistics for body mass index (kg/m2)


Group Age Range 9.51-10.50 10.51-11.50 11.51-12.50 12.51-13.50 13.51-14.50 14.51-15.50 15.51-16.50
a, b

PRB Mean SD 17.1 (2.9) 17.9 (3.4) 18.1 (3.9) 18.5 (3.7) 19.1 (2.9) 19.7 (3.0) 20.2 (3.0)

PUB Mean SD 15.6 (3.6)a 16.2 (1.9) a 16.8 (2.8) a 16.7 (2.2) a 18.1 (2.1) a 19.3 (2.2) 20.0 (2.2)

PRG Mean SD 17.4 (3.0) 19.1 (3.4) 19.1 (3.0) 19.6 (3.7) 20.9 (3.6) 21.0 (3.3) 21.2 (3.6)

PUG Mean SD 16.3 (2.2) b 16.2 (1.8) b 18.4 (3.2) 18.5 (2.5) 19.5 (2.8) 19.1 (2.0) b 21.1 (3.1)

significant at p< 0.05; SD = standard deviation, PRB = Private school boys, PUB = Public school boys, PRG = Private school girls, PUG = Public school girls.

The body mass index (BMI) The body mass index (BMI) estimates for the all the groups are presented in table 6. In comparing the BMI data by age and school type, PRB recorded steadily rising BMI readings from 17.1 (2.9) kg/m2 at 10 years to 20.2 (3.0) kg/m2 at 16 years. The BMI values for PUB steadily rose from 15.6 kg/m2 at age 10 years to 20.0 (2.2) kg/m 2 at age 16 years. A paired sample t-test showed that the mean differences were statistically significant from age 10 to 14 years (p<0.005) but not at 15 and 16 years. Among the females, at all ages, PRG recorded the highest BMI values. The reported BMI readings among PRG steadily rose from 17.4 (3.0) kg/m 2 at 10 years to 21.2 (3.6) kg/m2 at 16 years while that of the PUG increased from 16.3 (2.2) kg/m 2 to 21.1 (3.1) kg/m2. However, while the mean differences were statistically significant at age 10 years (p< 0.018), 11 years (p< 0.000), 14 years (p<0.050) and 15 years (p<0.000), it was not significant at ages 12, 13 and 16 years.


Somatotype Data analysis Age-related changes in the anthropometric somatotype and the comparison of the somatotype components between the private and public school children are presented in this section. All somatotype data are presented as Somatotype Documents. Each somatotype document is presented in the landscape format to permit visual appreciation of the important features. The somatotype document 1 for 10-year old urban schoolboys shows that: i) The 10-year old PRB recorded taller mean stature, larger mean body mass, greater mean BMI and lower mean HWR than the PUB (see table 7). ii) The mean somatotype of 10-year old PRB is 2.8-3.8-3.7 which is “central” (see heavy-shaded black rectangular dot in central category of somatochart 1) while the mean somatotype of 10-year (see old PUB is black 1.8-3.4-4.0 rectangular which dot is in



mesomorph/ectomorph category of somatochart 2). iii) The category region with the highest frequency of occurrence of somatotype “oval dots”- the dominant somatotype category- among 10-year old PRB is “mesomorphicectomorphic” (see somatochart 1). That of 10-year old PUB is also mesomorphicectomorphic (see somatochart 2). iv) Somatocharts 1 and 2 present the age group-wise “frequency” distribution of whole somatotypes in the same schoolboys presented in table 7 (see page 54). The mean and dominant somatotypes for all the other groups, as derived from somatotype documents 2-14, have been summarized (see table 21).


Table 21

Summary of somatotype distribution data for all age and gender groups



Somatotype characteristic Mean Dominant category

PRB Central MesomorphicEctomorph Central MesomorphicEctomorph Central MesomorphicEctomorph Mesomorph /Ectomorph MesomorphicEctomorph Ectomorphicmesomorph MesomorphicEctomorph Ectomorphicmesomorph Ectomorphicmesomorph Ectomorphicmesomorph MesomorphicEctomorph

School type and gender strata PUB PRG Mesomorph /Ectomorph MesomorphicEctomorph Mesomorph /Ectomorph MesomorphicEctomorph Mesomorph /Ectomorph MesomorphicEctomorph Ectomorphicmesomorph MesomorphicEctomorph Mesomorph /Ectomorph MesomorphicEctomorph Ectomorphicmesomorph MesomorphicEctomorph Mesomorph /Ectomorph MesomorphicEctomorph Central



MesomorphicEctomorph M-En, M-Ec, Balanced En-Ec, Bal Ec ectomorph Central Mesomorphicendomorph Central Endomorphicectomorph Central Endomorphicectomorph Central Mesomorphicendomorph Mesomorph/ Endomorph Mesomorphicendomorph Mesomorph/ endomorph Mesomorphicendomorph MesomorphicEctomorph MesomorphEctomorph Mesomorph /Ectomorph Balanced Ectomorph Central Balanced Ectomorph Central Balanced Ectomorph Central MesomorphicEctomorph Mesomorph/ Endomorph MesomorphicEctomorph


Mean Dominant category


Mean Dominant category


Mean Dominant category


Mean Dominant category Mean Dominant category



Mean Dominant category

Somatochart Analysis 55

The mean somatotypes for PRB was stable in the central category between ages 10 and 12 years but then shifted through mesomorph/ectomorph at 13 years and stabilized again at ectomorphicmesomorph from 14 to 16 years. For the PUB, mean somatotypes were stable at mesomorph/ectomorph between 10 and 12 years but oscillated between mesomorph/ectomorph and ectomorphic-mesomorph from 14 to 16 years. The dominant somatotype for PRB in all age groups from 10 to 16 years was mesomorphicectomorph except ectomorphic-mesomorph at 15 years. Among the PUB, the dominant somatotype was mesomorphic-ectomorph in all age groups without exception. The mean somatotype for PRG was stable at central from age 10 to 14 years. By the ages 15 and 16 years, however, the mean somatotypes had shifted to mesomorph/endomorph. The mean somatotype of PUG showed wider variation with continuous shifts from mesomorphicectomorph at 10 years, through balanced ectomorph at 11 years and mesomorph/ectomorph at 12 years. There was an apparent stabilization to central category between 13 and 15 years followed by shift to mesomorph/endomorph at 16 years. The somatotype categories were widespread at age 10 years among the PRG so there was no dominant category. However, at ages 11 years and 14-16 years, the dominant category was mesomorphic-endomorph. Between the ages of 12 and 13 years, the dominant category was endomorphic-ectomorph. Among the PUG, the dominant category was balanced ectomorph from ages 10-14 years. Afterwards, the dominant somatotype shifted to mesomorphic-ectomorph.

Somatotype Components Analysis


Endomorphy The mean endomorphy or the “component of relative fatness” in physique for the PRB was generally greater than PUB throughout all the age groups, indicating a higher body fat component among the former (see table 7). Age changes in mean endomorphy among 10 to 16 years-old PUB was limited (1.7-2.0) with a rating of 1.8 being recorded at age 10 through 15 years, a spike of 2.0 at 11 years while the least rating of 1.7 was observed at age 16 years. However, among the PRB, age changes were more marked with the younger age group (10-13 years) being more endomorphic than the older ones (14-16 years). The range varied little (2.82.9) from age 10-13 years but then dropped from 2.6 at age 14 years a little more steeply to 2.3 and 2.4 by ages 15 and 16 years. Among the females, the PRG showed a higher mean endomorphy rating, indicating a higher relative fatness, compared to the PUG. However, age changes showed greater fluctuation (see table 8). Among PRG, a greater and steadily rising trend of endomorphy ratings of 3.3 at 10 years reached its peak at 4.6 at 15 years and then dipped to 4.4 at 16 years. Among the PUG, a sharply rising trend of endomorphy rating from 2.4 to 3.0 (10-12 years) attained a plateau (3.03.1) at 13-15 years. This was then followed by another steep rise to 3.7 at 16 years. However, standard deviations varied only narrowly among all the age groups in both school types indicating low overall variation in this component.



Summary of the descriptive statistics for somatotype components of Adolescent Nigerian schoolboys in urban Lagos. Values presented as Mean and standard deviation (S.D) N = 1555
VARIABLES Agerange(yrs) School type Endomorphy STATISTICS 9.51-10.50 PRB 2.8 (1.6) Mesomorphy 3.8 (1.2) Ectomorphy 3.7 (1.5) PUB 1.8 (0.5) 3.4 (1.1) 4.0 (1.2) 10.51-11.50 PRB 2.9 (1.7) 3.9 (1.2) 3.6 (1.4) PUB 2.0 (0.9) 3.4 (1.0) 4.1 (1.3) 11.51-12.50 PRB 2.9 (1.7) 3.8 (1.4) 3.9 (1.5) PUB 1.8 (1.0) 3.6 (1.2) 4.0 (1.3) 12.51-13.50 PRB 2.8 (1.6) 4.2 (1.5) 4.0 (1.6) PUB 1.8 (0.6) 3.6 (1.1) 4.3 (1.3) 13.51-14.50 PRB 2.6 (1.3) 4.8 (1.2) 3.9 (1.4) PUB 1.8 (0.7) 3.6 (1.2) 3.9 (1.3) 14.51-15.50 PRB 2.3 (1.0) 4.7 (1.3) 4.0 (1.4) PUB 1.8 (0.5) 3.8 (1.1) 3.6 (1.0) 15.51-16.50 PRB 2.4 (1.3) 4.6 (1.4) 3.8 (1.5) PUB 1.7 (0.5) 3.6 (1.2) 3.5 (1.2)

N = Total sample size; PRB = Private school boys, PUB = Public school boys

TABLE 8 Summary of the descriptive statistics of somatotype components of Adolescent Nigerian schoolgirls in urban Lagos. Values are presented as mean and standard deviation (SD) N = 1943
MEASURES Agerange(yrs) School type Endomorphy DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS 9.6-10.5 PRG 3.3 (1.4) Mesomorphy 3.2 (1.1) Ectomorphy 3.5 (1.5) PUG 2.4 (0.7) 3.0 (1.0) 3.8 (1.5) 10.6-11.5 PRG 4.0 (1.5) 3.4 (1.3) 3.2 (1.6) PUG 2.6 (0.8) 3.1 (1.0) 4.1 (1.2) 11.6-12.5 PRG 4.1 (1.3) 2.8 (1.2) 3.3 (1.5) PUG 3.0 (1.3) 3.4 (1.3) 3.3 (1.5) 12.6-13.5 PRG 3.9 (1.3) 2.8 (1.5) 3.4 (1.5) PUG 3.0 (1.0) 3.2 (1.1) 3.5 (1.1) 13.6-14.5 PRG 4.3 (1.2) 2.9 (1.4) 2.8 (1.6) PUG 3.3 (1.1) 3.3 (1.5) 3.1 (1.5) 14.6-15.5 PRG 4.6 (1.5) 4.6 (1.5) 3.0 (1.3) PUG 3.1 (0.9) 3.1 (0.9) 3.2 (1.1) 15.6-16.5 PRG 4.4 (1.7) 4.4 (1.7) 2.8 (1.5) PUG 3.7 (1.2) 3.7 (1.2) 2.4 (1.0)

N = Total sample size; PRG = Private school girls, PUG = Public school girls



Among the males, mesomorphy or “the component of relative musculo-skeletal robustness” among the PRB was higher than the PUB at all ages. A low variation (3.8-3.9) between 10 and 12 years, followed by a sharp rise at 13 years to 4.2 and a peak of 4.8 at 14 years terminated with a gradual drop to 4.6 at 16 years. Among the PUB, low variation (3.4-3.6) between 10 and 14 years was followed by only a slight increase to 3.8 at 15 years to drop to 3.6 at age 16 years (Figure 7). Age changes among the females showed greater variation (see table 8). Among the PRG, an early increase (3.2-3.4) at ages 10 and 11years and a mid-adolescence drop (2.8-2.9) at 12 to 14 years was followed by a sharp rise to 4.6 and 4.4 at ages 15 and 16 years respectively. Among the PUG, a similar trend of early increment (3.0-3.4) at 10-12 years and a longer midadolescence decrement from 3.4 to 3.1 at 13-15 years followed by a late spiking of 3.7 at 16 years was observed.

Ectomorphy Generally, the ectomorphy or “component of relative linearity of individual physique” showed wider ranging, evenly-spread yet moderate ratings among the schoolboys from 10 to 16 years (3.5-4.3). The ectomorphic components of PRB varied throughout all ages with an increasing trend (3.6-4.0) among younger boys (10 to 13 years) and a somewhat decreasing trend downwards to 3.8 among the older age groups (14-16 years). The trend was similar but with higher numerical values among the PUB (see table 7). Among the female schoolchildren, the trend appears to be a decreasing one from age 10 to 13 years with a second phase decrease to 2.8 at 16 years among the PRG. The PUG showed a


steeper drop from 3.8 at 10 years, through a rise of 4.1 at 11 years to 3.3 at 12 years. a second drop phase was then observed from 3.5 at age 13 years to 2.4 at age 16 years.

DISCUSSION OF THE RESULTS SO FAR In this study, the general hypothesis has been that socioeconomic background did not significantly influence the outcome of physical structure, body composition and somatotype measurements of urban Lagos adolescent schoolchildren. Therefore, there will be no significant differences between the school type paired samples at all ages when compared within the same gender, at the confidence level of p<0.05. The results indicate that urban Lagos adolescent private school boys are significantly taller than their age-matched public school mates at all the ages between 10 and 16 years. Urban Lagos adolescent private schoolgirls are significantly taller than their age-matched public school mates at all ages between 10 and 16 years. Urban Lagos private school adolescent boys are significantly heavier than their public school age-mates at all age between 10 and 16 years. Urban Lagos private school girls are significantly heavier than their age-matched public school mates. However, it appears that by the age 16 years, the difference was no longer significant. It would be expected that statistically significant differences in mean body mass and stature would translate into statistically significant differences in Body mass index (BMI). While there is a significant difference in the mean body mass index (BMI) between age-matched adolescent boys from private school and public school in urban Lagos from age 10 to 14 years, from 15 to 16 years, the difference was not statistically significant. Among the females, statistically significant mean differences at age 10, 11 and 15 years are confounded by non-significant differences at ages 12, 13 and 16 years and the equivocal t-statistic result (p<0.051) at 14 years.


BMI is conventionally used as an indicator of risk for thinness and obesity in the general population (Wang and Wang, 2002; Cole et al., 2007). However, Bland and Altman (1986), Freedman et al. (2005) and Connolly (2007) have argued that the body mass index is not a dimensionless index since it is proportional to height, as shown in BMI = mass/height2. Since with objects of similar density, mass, and therefore weight, has dimension equivalent to length cubed (length3) and density is equal to mass/volume, therefore, BMI has dimensions equivalent to length3/Height2. This relationship may in part explain some of the contradictions often associated with the application of the BMI as an indicator of thinness and obesity, among different age groups in the general population. Thus, the results support the recommendation that the BMI be used differently for young children and adults. The results are also consistent with the suggestion that BMI be interpreted with caution when applied to adolescents (CDC, 2000; Cameron, 2007; Cole et al., 2007). With the exception of children in the age-group of 11 years, there was no significant difference in the mean height-weight ratio (HWR) between age-matched adolescent boys and girls from private school and public school in urban Lagos. The HWR is the reciprocal of the Ponderal index (Weight/Height3). Unlike the BMI, the Ponderal index is said to be effectively dimensionless, because as previously argued, with objects of similar density, mass, and therefore weight, has dimension equivalent to length cubed (Bland and Altman, 1986). There is low variation in the height-weight ratio (HWR) among all the age groups and between the school types, as shown by the general non-significance of the mean differences between the groups. This observation is not unexpected because in recent studies analyzing the relationships involving weight and height by mathematical simulations using norm-referenced ranges of height and weight data for BMI and the corresponding ranges for the HWR, results showed a


strong association between the two methods with an absolute concordance to a height of 170 cm (Cole et al., 2000; Ricardo and de Araújo, 2002). The HWR produced a larger age range in children and adolescents but a more central range in the university students, both for the reported (current) as well as desired weights. The HWR was found to be mathematically more logical than the BMI. In addition, the HWR may be applied with the same cut points of the normreference data from the age of 5 ½ years on. The significance of the observation that there were significant differences in HWR values between private and public schoolchildren at age 11 years remains as yet unclear. While there is great similarity in the pattern of variation in mean somatotypes among PRB and PUB, clearly there is a marked difference in the pattern of dominant somatotypes among the groups. The variations observed among the females appear also to show trends inherent within the two school types. Since there are no reference data on the same population to compare with, a clear explanation may not be possible at this stage for the observed differences. Because mean somatotypes represent hypothetical and not actual data, their interpretation must be with caution within the context of the overall distribution of somatotypes to await the full analysis of all somatotype data. The observations may have been due to sampling procedure. They also may be due to random error during measurement. However, the probably of these eventualities have been determined by the confidence levels selected for the statistical analysis prior to the commencement of the studies. However, the follow observations are apparent at this stage. There is wide variation in the somatotype distribution patterns of the somatocharts between agematched adolescent boys from private school and public school in urban Lagos. The somatotypes of public schoolboys in all age categories remain within a “narrow range” expressing mainly dominant ectomorphy and/or mesomorphy. Obesity-related somatotypes are


almost exclusively absent from all age-groups of public school boys. There is a significant difference in the somatotype distribution patterns on the somatocharts between age- matched adolescent girls from private school and public school in urban Lagos. It appears that there is a time-lag in the attainment of somatotypes expressing high-endomorphy among public school girls as compared to private school girls. There appears also to be a clear sexual dimorphism in the somatotype distribution patterns within school types. This is not unexpected as males and females would be expected to have different physique developmental patterns. However, the distribution of mean somatotypes appear to suggest that averages may show similarity of physique between the opposite gender within school types at certain age ranges.

CONTRIBUTION TO KNOWLEDGE 1. Empirical data has been provided showing the variation in patterns of changes in physical structure as represented by stature, body mass, body mass index (BMI) and the heightweight ratio (HWR), among private and public schoolchildren of the same gender in urban Lagos. 2. The data shows the somatotype variability among urban Lagos schoolchildren. The frequency distribution of somatotypes by category, the variability in the patterns and direction of shift with age, gender and socioeconomic status has been illustrated graphically using the special instrument known as somatochart. 3. The presence of sexual dimorphism in the patterns of age- and socioeconomic statusrelated variability in the physical structure and body composition among urban Lagos adolescent schoolchildren has been clearly demonstrated.


4. Somatocharts permit ease of comparison of an individual’s physique with that of every other individual in the group. They also allow comparison with other samples using the sample means, variance and other relevant statistical tools, and thus enabling statistically sensible and scientifically accurate inferences to be made concerning the individual and other specific groups within the sample. Thus, individuals and groups of persons with special physical attributes or those “at risk” for specific health problems or can be identified.

WORK YET TO BE DONE Two objectives are yet to be addressed in this study. These may be restated as follows: 1. To analyze and compare the body size and somatotype data itemized in 1-3 of the stated objectives above. These analysis include the determination of the: • • • • Mean somatotype attitudinal distance (SAD) for each somatochart Somatotype attitudinal mean (SAM) for each sample stratum Somatotype attitudinal variance (SAV) for each sample stratum Somatotype analysis of variance (SANOVA) – for independent samples (within sample SANOVA) and between sample SANOVA. This is a type of analysis of variance (ANOVA) specially designed for analysis of somatotypes (Carter et al., 1983; Carter and Heath, 1990) • Analysis of the frequencies and relative frequencies of somatotype in each category chart using non-parametric tests including comparative ratio analysis and the chi-square statistic to determine the difference between age, gender and school type groups.


2. To compare the data derived from the data above with those derived from other populations around the world.

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