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Korean J Pediatr 2011 November;54(11) :436-442.
Secular trends of body sizes in Korean children and adolescents: from 1965 to 2010
Jin Soo Moon (Moon JS)
Department of Pediatrics, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang, Korea
Corresponding Author: Jin Soo Moon ,Tel: +82-31-910-7101, Fax: +82-31-910-7108, Email:
Copyright © 2011 by The Korean Pediatric Society
An anthropometric survey is one of the most important approaches to use when evaluating the health status of children. Secular trends in body sizes, such as height, weight, head circumference, chest circumference, and body mass index showed significant changes over 40 years in Korea. A series of periodic surveys were conducted in 1967, 1975, 1985, 1997, and 2005 by the Korean Pediatric Society and Ministry of Health and Welfare. The quality of data from school health examinations and the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey has improved, so we can use them now as resources for anthropometric analysis. The final height differences between 1965 and 1997 were 4.5 cm both in boys (168.9 cm in 1965; 173.4 cm in 1997) and girls (155.9 cm in 1965; 160.4 cm in 1997). The differences between 1997 and 2005 were 0.9 cm in boys (174.3cm in 2005) and 0.8 cm in girls (161.2 cm in 2005). There was no difference in final height measurements between 2005 and 2010. An increase in body size at earlier teen ages was pronounced during these decades compared to the previous generation; however, little change has been identified more recently. Body size has been increasing, and obesity has become more prevalent. Systems that gather data should be updated in order to cope with these secular trends. In an upcoming era of secular trends that would be in a slow transition, several surveys that include body measurements should be prepared to meet future needs.
Keywords: Child | Adolescent | Body height | Body weight | Body mass index | Obesity | Anthropometry
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