Rapid change in height and body proportions of Maya American children
Version of Record online: 24 OCT 2002
Copyright © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Human Biology
Volume 14, Issue 6, pages 753–761, November 2002
How to Cite
Bogin, B., Smith, P., Orden, A.B., Varela Silva, M.I. and Loucky, J. (2002), Rapid change in height and body proportions of Maya American children. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 14: 753–761. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.10092
- Issue online: 24 OCT 2002
- Version of Record online: 24 OCT 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 MAY 2002
- Manuscript Revised: 20 MAY 2002
- Manuscript Received: 31 JAN 2002
- the Timothy and Jean Morbach Research Fund of the University of Michigan-Dearborn
- the Children in Poverty Program, Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
- the Bureau for Faculty Research at Western Washington University
Maya families from Guatemala migrated to the United States in record numbers from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. Births to Maya immigrant women have created a sizable number of Maya American children. The height and sitting height of 5 to 12 years children (n = 431) were measured in 1999 and 2000. Leg length was estimated and the sitting height ratio was calculated. These data were compared with a sample of Maya children living in Guatemala measured in 1998 (n = 1,347). Maya American children are currently 11.54 cm taller and 6.83 cm longer-legged, on average, than Maya children living in Guatemala. Consequently, the Maya Americans have a significantly lower average sitting height ratio (i.e., relatively longer legs in proportion to length of the head and trunk) than do the Maya in Guatemala. These results add support to the hypothesis that both the height and body proportions of human populations are sensitive indicators of the quality of the environment for growth. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 14:753–761, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.