Original paper

Does a favourable change in the living conditions of young Kenyans affect their body (morphological) structure?

Rebacz, Ewa

Abstract

The aim of this study is to describe changes in the body structure of young Kenyans as a result of an upturn in the living conditions. The analyzed changes in their body build were caused by regular lifestyle and nutrition. The research material was male youth aged between 18 and 26. All those young men were students of a basic vocational school in Nairobi (Kenya). The first research was carried out in 1999 (n=121), the second one (n=302) exactly 12 months later and at the same institution. Changes in the body structure were studied on 31 individuals, who were examined twice. The examined parameters included: body height, body weight, chest circumference, waist circumference and thigh circumference. Information was also collected on the period a given student had stayed at that institution, his tribal membership, the number of children in his household and his number in the sequence of births in his family. Also the date of birth (at least the year) was of significance. All the examined men, whose body structure changes were analyzed, belonged to the Bantu language group. The studied individuals were at an age when growth had already finished. A more significant increase was observed in body weight, waist and thigh circumference. A regular schedule of activities and meals served in the dormitory resulted in body weight changes in 87% of those individuals, who were reexamined. As the basic reason for the observed changes one can regard the improvement in the level of nutrition, which was described by the examined individuals as"good".

Keywords

Body constitutionEast AfricaBantuBMI and Rohrer's indices