Anthropometric dimensions were taken on 1,572 women, 18–44 years of age, from Cali, Colombia, from three different socioeconomic (SEC) groups: low (LEC), mid‐low (MLEC), and upper (UEC). LEC and MLEC women were significantly shorter and had higher body mass indices (BMIs) than UEC women, and a significantly larger number had BMIs over 27.3 kg/m2. There were no significant differences between SEC groups for skinfolds on the arm, but skinfolds on the trunk, the subscapular–triceps ratio, and the waist–hip ratio followed an inverse SEC gradient, indicating a greater tendency for upper body fat distribution in the lower SEC groups. SEC differences in body fatness and fat distribution diminished with age, suggesting that health risks associated with obesity and an upper body fat distribution may be similar in all three groups by ages 40–44 years. Secular changes in stature were similar, 0.12 cm/year for LEC/MLEC women and 0.15 cm/year for UEC women, and there was no indication that the statural differences between the groups is diminishing. The results indicate that women from Cali exhibit anthropometric characteristics seen in both developing countries (stature positively associated with SEC) and developed countries (fatness and centralized fat distribution inversely related to SEC). These findings may reflect the relative economic prosperity of Colombia as a “developing country”. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics