Body adiposity from childhood to adolescence in boys: Interaction with somatic maturity

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Werneck, André O. [UNESP]
Silva, Danilo R.
Bueno, Maria R.O.
Fernandes, Rômulo A. [UNESP]
Ronque, Enio R.V.
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Objectives: To investigate the longitudinal relationship between adiposity and maturity status throughout the transition between childhood and adolescence in boys, and the moderation effect of maturation on adiposity trajectories. Methods: This was a longitudinal study conducted with 197 boys who were followed over 3 years (from childhood to adolescence). Body adiposity was estimated through the subcutaneous skinfold method, with measures of triceps and subscapular skinfolds. Skinfolds were analyzed singly and aggregated through the sum of skinfolds. Maturity status was estimated through Moore's method of estimated peak of height velocity, which uses an algorithm with stature and chronological age values and was categorized according to mean and SD. Analysis of covariance was used to test moderation effects. All analyses were conducted in STATA 14.0, at a 0.05 level of significance. Results: Early maturing adolescents presented higher values of body adiposity at all moments when compared with on-time and late maturing adolescents (P <.05). Moreover, maturity status moderated the association between sum of skinfolds at childhood and sum of skinfolds at adolescence (F = 2.49; P =.045). Conclusion: Somatic maturation moderates the relationship between adiposity in childhood and adolescence, with earlier maturation associated with a greater increase in adiposity. Future tracking studies should consider the effects of maturity status when analyzing body adiposity.
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American Journal of Human Biology.