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Keywords:

  • Adolescent;
  • growth;
  • nutrition;
  • France;
  • Mali

Abstract

Growth data from Bambara and Fulani girls are compared from those born and raised in France and those born and raised in Mali. The data reveal that Bambara and Fulani girls born in France are taller and heavier than their female counterparts born and raised in Mali. No indicators of obesity are evident among this sample. The sample's heights and weights match the U.S. reference data such that mean height-for-age z-score is −.02 ± .84, and the mean WAZ is 03 ± .96. Based on the conceptual framework of the brocultural model of human adaptation, these findings have implications regarding the environmental impacts affecting the growth status of Malian adolescent girls. The data suggest that improved growth may be due to improved environmental and cultural factors including increased food availability, safe food and water, a reduction in manual labor, and access to affordable and reliable healthcare. While this sample is relatively small, it appears that U.S. reference data are appropriate for use in non-U.S. populations to determine over and undernutrition.