Bayero Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences

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Age specific sex differences in BMI and skin fold thickness among children of Kazaure Emirate, Nigeria

A Gudaji, L.H. Adamu, M.G. Taura, B Danborno, A.Y. Asuku, S Datti, U.I. Mika’il


An important phenomenon occurring in human population is the variation in their physical morphology. The physical dimensions of human body are influenced by geographical, racial, age and gender factors. Physical anthropometry provides the technique by which human body dimensions can be evaluated and measured. The aim of the study was to determine age specific sex differences in height, weight, BMI and skin fold thickness among children aged 5- 12 years from Kazaure emirate, Jigawa State, Nigeria. The objective of the study was to investigate sexual dimorphism in the measured variables. A total of 1212 primary school pupils aged 5-12 years (659 males and 553 females) were involved. All the anthropometric variables were taken using standard protocols. An independent t-test was used to determine gender differences using SPSS version 20.0and P ≤ 0.05 considered a level of significance. The results showed a significant gender difference in height and weight at age of 8 years (P = 0.009) and (P< 0.001), respectively. For bicep skin fold thickness (BSF), the gender difference was observed at 7 to 12years of age with (P< 0.001). Similar pattern in triceps TSF) and suprailiac (SISF), showed significant difference at age six (P< 0.001) and (P =0.01), respectively. All ages showed differences in subscapular skin fold thickness (SSF)(P< 0.001). In the SSF, female had higher mean value while for height and weight the reverse trend was the case. In conclusion, the gender differences in SSF may be linked with higher adipose tissue in female than in the male counterparts in childhood.

Keywords: Anthropometry, BMI, Skin fold thickness, age, sex, Nigeria
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