Original paper

Age and sex variation of body mass index and waist circumference among the Santal children of Jharkhand,India

Ghosh,Arnab;Chatterjee, Diptendu;Bandyopadhyay, Arup Ratan; Das Chaudhuri, Asit Baran


Central body fat(CBF)as measured by waist circumference(WC)etc.has now been considered as risk factor for chronic disease, disability, and death. It has been assumed that one's characteristic level of body fat, as measured by body mass index(BMI),and CBF unfolds during the normal course of growth and development. However, studies of the development of CBF show relatively weak consistency in comparison to body fat. But to the best of our knowledge, no study in this aspect has been undertaken on any Indian population to study the effect of age and sex on body fat and CBF during development. In view of the above consideration, the present work has been undertaken among 179 Santal(a tribal population)children(Boys=107, Girls=72)of the Galudih area in East Singbhum, Jharkhand, India. Anthropometric measurements of height,weight,and circumference of waist were taken from each subject using standard procedure. The mean ages of boys and girls were 10.94 years and 9.48 years, respectively. The mean BMI for boys and girls were 14.48 kg /m2 and 13.78 kg/m2. Percent of variance explained by age was much greater for BMI(>50%)as compared to WC(7-10%)in both sexes. Two way ANOVA showed that BMI had a significant(p<0.05)effect of age and not of sex, whereas age-sex interaction had a significant impact on WC. The results of the present cross-sectional study indicated that during growth and development unfolding of CBF and BMI is independent of one another. Different set(s)of gene(s), onset of growth hormones during the normal development or their interaction could have been considered for this differentiation.


central body fatobesitybody mass indexwaist circumferencechildrengrowthIndia