Delayed motor development in relation to nutritional status among children under two years of age in two districts of Simbu Province.

Papua and New Guinea medical journal

PubMedID: 1724715

Groos AD. Delayed motor development in relation to nutritional status among children under two years of age in two districts of Simbu Province. P N G Med J. 1991;34(4):238-45.
The median ages of attainment of independent sitting, crawling, standing and walking were investigated in relation to nutritional status in 866 children aged under 24 months in Gumine District and 270 children in the same age range in Karimui District of Simbu Province. Sitting ability in these children was found to be comparable to western children of the same age but subsequent development was delayed in relation to western standards. This is particularly the case for Karimui children, who are almost 18 months old before they walk independently. Growth retardation, particularly the manifestation of chronic undernutrition in terms of length, is associated with the delay of important motor skills and hence delays the child's opportunities for actions independent of caregivers. In both districts solid food is introduced early and before the median age at which children sit independently, that is, at an age when motor development should still be conforming to western standards. In Gumine District dietary supplements initially consist mainly of fruit and other soft foods while in Karimui there is a more rapid transition to an adult-type diet of sweet potato and green vegetables as the daily staples.