It has been suggested that longitudinal rather than cross-sectional growth standards be used to assess individual growth patterns. Thus, the aim of this study was to follow boys and girls throughout their pubertal years, so that a mixed longitudinal growth curve of height, weight, sitting height, arm span, skinfold thickness, body mass index (BMI), and the ratio of sitting height or arm span to stature, could be obtained.
A defined group of 1,139 healthy schoolchildren (570 boys and 569 girls) from the Shih-Pai district of Taipei were followed longitudinally for 4 years. Anthropometric measurements of height, weight, sitting height, arm span, skinfold thickness, and BMI, were obtained for each child.
Peak sitting-height velocities of 6.1 cm/year (boys) and 6.3 cm/year (girls) were seen at 8.5 years. The second peak of sitting-height velocity occurred at a mean age of 12.5 years for boys and 11.5 years for girls. Sitting-height velocity for the whole year covering the second peak was 4.6 cm in boys and 3.2 cm in girls. Peak arm-span velocity was seen at 13.5 years for boys and 8.5 years for girls, and arm-span velocity for the whole year covering this peak was 8.4 cm/year for boys and 8.1 cm/year for girls.
These data provide growth patterns for Chinese children aged 8–18 years living in a Taipei district, with percentile charts for sitting height, arm span, BMI, and skinfold thickness.