Secular trends in some Russian populations
Godina, Elena Z.
Secular changes of body measurements in children have been the subject of studies in many different countries. In recent years, there has been an increase in BMI associated with a significant trend towards obesity in both Europe and the US. The aim of the present study was to analyze trends in body measurements and BMI in Russia from the 1960's to the beginning of the 21st century. This was done at three locations of the Russian Federation: the city of Moscow, the cities of Saratov and Naberezhnye Chelny in the Volga-river area. In addition, data on secular changes of Abkhazian children were analyzed. A large number of anthropometric measurements were taken on each individual including height, weight, arm, leg and trunk lengths (estimated), body diameters and circumferences, skinfold thickness, head and face dimensions. Stages of secondary sex characteristics also were evaluated; data on menarcheal age were collected by status-quo and retrospective methods. Changes in hand grip strength have been evaluated in some of the samples. While stature was increasing during these years, weight, chest circumference and BMI were characterized by negative changes, which became more obvious in elder girls. Changes in handgrip strength also showed negative trends. There were noticeable changes in head and face measurements, which were expressed in more elongated head and face forms, i.e.the head became longer and narrower with narrower and higher faces. Secular changes in head and facial morphology may be considered part of the general trend.