Socio-economic factors associated with physique of adults of the Purari delta of the Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea
Author: Ulijaszek S.J.
Source: Annals of Human Biology, Volume 30, Number 3, May-June 2003 , pp. 316-328(13)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Abstract:Objective: To examine in detail the relationships between components of the modernization process, including experience of urban life, urban connectedness, education, and the nature and diversity of income sources on adult body size in a Papua New Guinea (PNG) population.Methods: Mean height, weight and body mass index (BMI) of 292 adults surveyed in 1995-97 in the Purari delta, PNG, are reported by age group, and related to modernization variables including urban life, urban connectedness, economic status and education.Results: With respect to BMI, 23% of males and 24% of females had a BMI greater than 25, while 1% of males and 6% of females had a BMI greater than 30. There were also significant numbers of undernourished individuals, especially among the females, where 13% had BMI below 18.5, compared with 5% of males with BMI below this level. Mean stature of younger adults is greater than that of older adults. For the males, height, weight and BMI are all negatively associated with age-squared, and positively associated with income. Weight is also positively associated with having urban relatives, but not with having lived in any urban centre. For the females, height is positively associated with age-squared, weight is positively associated with both income and number of years of education, while BMI is positively associated with income, and with having urban relatives, but not with urban dwelling per se.Conclusions: The secular trend toward increasing height may have been underway since the 1950s. Income level, number of years of education and having urban relatives emerge as core factors influencing body size and fatness in the Purari population.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2003-05-01