Body composition of South African rural school children aged 7-13 years: The Tshannda longitudinal study

L. O. Amusa, D. T. Goon, A. K. Amey

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Aim. The aim of this paper was, therefore, to present the cross-sectional data on the body composition profiles of rural primary school children in Tshannda, South Africa. Methods. A cross-sectional study was carried out to examine the body composition among 409 Tshannda rural school children, grade 1-7 levels, in Vhembe district of Limpopo province, South Africa. The anthropometric variable measured included, body mass, stature, arm circumference, triceps, biceps, subscapular and supraspinale. Derived indicators were sum of skinfold thickness, body mass index (BMI), mid-upper arm circumference, percentage body fat, fat mass and fat-free mass, which were used to determine body composition. Results. A significant difference in the sum of skinfold thickness was noticed between boys and girls. The girls have higher skinfold thickness than boys at all ages. The percentage of body fat was higher in girls than boys. Conclusion. The high proportion of body fat among rural South African school children, especially girls, warrants an action strategy to prevent and control overweight and obesity in this age group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-270
Number of pages8
JournalMinerva Pediatrica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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