Stunting does not impair physical fitness in Indonesian school children
Physical fitness is decreased in malnourished children and adults. Poor appearance and muscular flaccidity are among the first signs of malnutrition. Malnutrition is often associated with stunting.
We test the hypotheses that stunted children of low social strata are physically less fit than children of high social strata.
We investigated 354 school girls and 369 school boys aged 5.83 to 13.83 (mean 9.54) years from three different social strata in Kupang (West-Timor, Indonesia) in 2020.
We measured height, weight, and elbow breadth, calculated standard deviation (SDS) of height and weight according to CDC references, and the Frame index as an indicator of long-term physical fitness, and we tested physical fitness in standing long jump and hand grip strength.
Children of low social strata are physically fittest. They jump longer distances, and they have higher values in the Frame index. No association exists between height SDS and physical fitness, neither in respect to standing long jump, nor to hand grip strength.
Stunting does not impair physical fitness in Indonesian school children. Our results support the concept that SEPE (social-economic-political-emotional) factors are involved in the regulation of human growth.
Barnett, L. M./Lai, S. K./Veldman, S. L. C./Hardy, L. L./Cliff, D. P./Morgan, P. J./Zask, A./Lubans, D. R./Shultz, S. P./Ridgers, N. D./Rush, E./Brown, H. L./Okely, A. D. (2016). Correlates of Gross Motor Competence in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) 46 (11), 1663–1688. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-016-0495-z.
Behrman, R. E./Kliegman, R. M./Jenson, H. B. (1999). Nelson. textbook of pediatrics. 16th ed. Philadelphia, London, Toronto: Saunders.
Bogin, B. (2021). Social-Economic-Political-Emotional (SEPE) factors regulate human growth. Human Biology and Public Health 1. https://doi.org/10.52905/hbph.v1.10.
Feferico Gomez, R. R. G./Joaquin, C./Silvestre, F. (1955). Malnutrition in infancy and childhood, with special reference to Kwashiorkor. Advances in peditarics 7, 131–169.
Frisancho, R. A. (1993). Anthropometric standards for the assessment of growth and nutritional status. Michigan: Ann Arbor The University of Michigan Press.
Grebmer, K. de/Bernstein, J./Hossain, N./Brown, T./Prasai, N./Yohannes, Y./Patterson, F./Sonntag, A./Zimmermann, S.-M./Towey, O./Foley, C. (2017). Global Hunger Index: The Inequalities of Hunger. Bonn: Welthungerhilfe; Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute; and Dublin: Concern Worldwide.
Knussmann, R. (1988). Anthropologie: Handbuch der vergleichenden Biologie des Menschen. Stuttgart: Fischer.
Lestari, S./Fujiati, I. I./Keumalasari, D./Daulay, M. (2018). The prevalence and risk factors of stunting among primary school children in North Sumatera, Indonesia. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science 125, 12219. https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/125/1/012219.
McPhillips, M./Jordan-Black, J.-A. (2007). The effect of social disadvantage on motor development in young children: a comparative study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 48 (12), 1214–1222. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01814.x.
Mumm, R./Godina, E./Koziel, S./Musalek, M./Sedlak, P./Wittwer-Backofen, U./Hesse, V./Dasgupta, P./Henneberg, M./Scheffler, C. (2018). External skeletal robusticity of children and adolescents - European references from birth to adulthood and international comparisons. Anthropologischer Anzeiger 74 (5), 383–391. https://doi.org/10.1127/anthranz/2018/0826.
Onis, M. de/Garza, C./Onyango, A. W./Borghi, E. (2007). Comparison of the WHO child growth standards and the CDC 2000 growth charts. The Journal of Nutrition 137 (1), 144–148. https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/137.1.144.
Research Institute, International Food Policy (2017). 2017 global hunger index: The inequalities of hunger. Bonn: Welthungerhilfe; Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute; and Dublin: Concern Worldwide.
Rietsch, K./Eccard, J. A./Scheffler, C. (2013). Decreased external skeletal robustness due to reduced physical activity? American Journal of Human Biology 25 (3), 404–410. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.22389.
Scheffler, C./Hermanussen, M./Bogin, B./Liana, D. S./Taolin, F./Cempaka, P. M. V. P./Irawan, M./Ibbibah, L. F./Mappapa, N. K./Payong, M. K. E./Homalessy, A. V./Takalapeta, A./Apriyanti, S./Manoeroe, M. G./Dupe, F. R./Ratri, R. R. K./Touw, S. Y./K, P. V./Murtani, B. J./Nunuhitu, R./Puspitasari, R./Riandra, I. K./Liwan, A. S./Amandari, P./Permatasari, A. A. I./Julia, M./Batubara, J./Pulungan, A. (2019). Stunting is not a synonym of malnutrition. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-019-0439-4.
Scheffler, C./Hermanussen, M./Soegianto, S. D. P./Homalessy, A. V./Touw, S. Y./Angi, S. I./Ariyani, Q. S./Suryanto, T./Matulessy, G. K. I./Fransiskus, T./Safira, A. V. C./Puteri, M. N./Rahmani, R./Ndaparoka, D. N./Payong, M. K. E./Indrajati, Y. D./Purba, R. K. H./Manubulu, R. M./Julia, M./Pulungan, A. B. (2021). Stunting as a synonym of social disadvantage and poor parental education. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18 (3), 1350. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031350.
Schrade, L./Scheffler, C. (2013). Assessing the applicability of the digital laser rangefinder GLM Professional Bosch 250 VF for anthropometric field studies. Anthropologischer Anzeiger 70 (2), 137–145. https://doi.org/10.1127/0003-5548/2013/0223.
Westerterp, K. R. (2013). Physical activity and physical activity induced energy expenditure in humans: measurement, determinants, and effects. Frontiers in Physiology 4, 90. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2013.00090.
WHO (2021). Fact sheets - malnutrition 2021. Available online at https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/malnutrition (accessed 7/26/2021).
Copyright (c) 2021 Christiane Scheffler, Michael Hermanussen
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The journal is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Authors are at liberty to share their contributions, provided they give proper attribution to the original publication, without asking prior permission from the editors. Re-use for commercial purposes is allowed only be permission from the editors.
More information about this license is available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/