Assessment of total and central adiposity in Canadian Aboriginal children and their Caucasian peers
Anderson KD, Baxter-Jones ADG, Faulkner RA, Muhajarine N, Henry CJ & Chad KE
Objective. Although Aboriginal children seem to be more susceptible to developing obesity and metabolic disorders than other ethnic groups in Canada, few studies have examined adiposity comprehensively in this population. The purpose of this study was to assess total and central adiposity in Canadian Aboriginal and Caucasian children matched by age, gender and maturity. Methods. A total of 212 Aboriginal and 204 Caucasian children (8–17 years) were recruited. Heights, weights and waist circumferences were measured and classified using international standards. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) indicated relative total body and trunk fatness. Age of peak height velocity was predicted from somatic growth. Descriptives with independent t-tests and Chi-square analyses were run to detect ethnic differences. ANCOVA was used to assess differences in total body and trunk fatness (covariates height, chronological age and biological age) in girls and boys separately. Results. Overweight/obesity and central adiposity were more prevalent in Aboriginal children compared with Caucasian children (p < 0.05). Ethnic differences in total body and trunk fatness were also significant, with Aboriginal girls and boys presenting, on average, 5.4% and 6.0% more total body fatness and 7.6% and 8.3% more trunk fatness, than Caucasian girls and boys, respectively (p < 0.01). Conclusion. Canadian Aboriginal children have greater prevalence of overweight/obesity and central adiposity, and higher relative total body fatness and trunk fatness than their Caucasian peers, which may predispose them to cardiovascular and metabolic disorders at a very young age. Longitudinal research is needed to confirm the associated health risks in this population.
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