There is little information on the nutritional status of adolescents in developing countries. In particular there is a lack of data concerning black adolescents. We measured height, weight, and triceps and subscapular skinfolds in 452 13-14-year-old girls, randomly selected from those attending nine schools in Kingston, Jamaica. The girls' heights and body mass indices were appropriate for their age. This suggests that undernutrition was not a significant problem in this population. However, the girls' skinfolds were smaller than the US references, both those for the total population and those for blacks only. The fat pattern (triceps/subscapular ratio) was similar to that reported for adult black women in the United States. It is possible that the levels of fat in the references are not appropriate for this population. Data from other black populations are needed for comparison.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The study was supported by the International Center for Research on Women, funded by USAID Office of Nutrition, no. DAN-5117-A-00-0087-00. We thank E. Duff and E. Nelson for assistance with the measurements.