Moscow University

Moscow children: a century of growth dynamics

Fedotova T.K., Gorbacheva A.K.

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Anuchin Research Institute and Museum of Anthropology, Mokhovaya st., 11, Moscow, 125009, Russia

Fedotova Tatiana K, PhD., DSc.; ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7750-7924;; Gorbacheva Anna K., PhD.; ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5201-7128;


The study summarizes the results of the set of growth studies of Russian children of Moscow over the broad historical period from the end of the XIX till the beginning of the XXI century to estimate comparative intensity of secular changes of main anthropometric dimensions – height, weight, chest girth – in connection with the age of children. Material and methods. We analyze 29 growth studies. The material is divided into decades. Each sex-age group with a standard sample of about 100 individuals is represented by data from only one author(s) for every decade. To estimate the intensity of secular changes of the parameters we used the index “mean value of temporal increase of the dimension through the decade”, which is the ratio of changes during the whole time interval of observation to the number of decades it includes. Expressed in the per cent of the mean time period standard deviation (MSD) these indices are quite comparable for dimensions under discussion regardless of the units of measurements, absolute value and rate of intragroup variability. Results. The intensity of secular change of height increases with age of children of both sexes: it is negligibly small for newborns and increases up to 25-30% of MSD at the age of semi-growth spurt (6 years) and growth spurt (13 years). The intensity of secular changes in weight is less than those of height. These changes are very modest from newborns to 6-year-olds reaching 5-10% of MSD of the dimension, increasing up to 14-16% MSD for teenagers and staying at this level for juvenile boys (17 years). The chest girth has a comparably lowest intensity of secular changes in all age-sex groups - under 10% of MSD. 17-year old girls experience the absence of secular dynamics of this dimension combined with some fluctuations. Conclusion. The secular dynamics of height, weight, and chest girth have almost continuous ascending pattern through the historical period from the end of the XIX till the beginning of XXI century for almost all age groups, interrupted by the economic crisis of the 1900s and war events of 1940s. The intensity of secular changes increases from newborns to adolescents and is more significant for height as compared to weight and parameter of transversal body development – chest girth.


anthropology; auxology; physical development; secular dynamics; height; weight; chest girth

DOI: 10.32521/2074-8132.2019.4.005-021

Цит.: Fedotova T.K., Gorbacheva A.K. Moscow children: a century of growth dynamics // Moscow University Anthropology Bulletin (Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Seria XXIII. Antropologia), 2019; 4/2019; с. 5-21

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