Anthropometric Similarities and Differences in Children of Aymara and Non-Aymara Descent in Northern Chile: Implications for Health and Development

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Luis A Barrio-Mateu; Dayneri León-Valladares; Josivaldo de Souza-Lima; Rodrigo Yáñez-Sepúlveda; Yaiza Cordero-Rodríguez; Fernanda Borges-Silva; Ernesto Ponce; Daniel Ponce & Muriel Ponce


This study aims to assess the nutritional status of Aymara and non-Aymara children in Arica, comparing anthropometric measurements of boys and girls aged 4-10 to inform interventions for child health and development. We conducted a non-experimental, quantitative, cross-sectional study in Arica, Chile. The sample included 458 children, with equal representation of Aymara and non-Aymara children from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Trained research assistants collected anthropometric data using standardized techniques. IBM SPSS statistical software was used for data analysis, including Student's t-test and the Levene test. Both Aymara and non-Aymara children showed high prevalence of overweight and obesity. Boys had a meso-endomorph somatotype, while girls had an endomorph somatotype. Among 8-year-olds, non-Aymara children had a slightly higher mean body weight (35.87, SD 4.50) compared to Aymara children (32.27, SD 4.31), but the difference was not statistically significant (p>0.05). However, 10-year-old Aymara girls had a significantly higher mean body mass index (22.34, SD 4.21) than non-Aymara girls (20.10, SD 3.58) (p=0.05). Regarding body fat percentage, 10-year- old non-Aymara girls had a slightly higher mean (31.01, SD 5.64) than Aymara girls (26.12, SD 5.63), but the difference was not statistically significant (p>0.05). The study found high levels of overweight and obesity in children from northern Chile, increasing with age for both Aymara and non-Aymara groups. The somatotype patterns were consistent across both groups. Although the differences between Aymara and non-Aymara children were not statistically significant, the Aymara group showed slightly higher levels of overweight and obesity. Further research with a larger sample size is needed to confirm these results and identify potential trends. Efforts should focus on promoting healthy nutrition and physical activity to address the growing problem of overweight and obesity in this region.

KEY WORDS: Body composition; Ethnicity; Children; Obesity; Overweight; Somatotype; Northern Chile; Aymara; Anthropometry.

How to cite this article

BARRIO-MATEU, L. A.; LEÓN-VALLADARES, D.; DE SOUZA-LIMA, J.; YÁÑEZ-SEPÚLVEDA, R.; CORDERO- RODRÍGUEZ, Y.; BORGES-SILVA, F.; PONCE, E.; PONCE, D. & PONCE, M. Anthropometric similarities and differences in children of Aymara and non-Aymara descent in northern Chile: Implications for health and development. Int. J. Morphol., 41(5):1411- 1420, 2023.