Growth and nutritional status of migrant and minority children: The case of Macedonian and Albanian children in Slovenia and Macedonia
This paper presents the initial findings of the research cooperation between Slovenian and Macedonian researchers investigating environmental effects on children’s growth and development. The study includes five different groups of children: Macedonian majority children who live in Macedonia, Albanian minority children who live in Macedonia, Macedonian children from migrant families who live in Slovenia, Albanian children from migrant families who live in Slovenia, and the population data of children who live in Slovenia. The first round of measurements, organised in the 2000/2001 school year, are presented. The findings show that the differences in stature, body mass, triceps skinfold thickness, and BMI between Macedonian and Albanian children living in Macedonia were bigger than the differences between the children of both migrant ethnic groups living in Slovenia. Macedonian children living in Macedonia were much more inclined towards pre-obesity and obesity than their Albanian peers were. When the migrant Albanian and Macedonian children in Slovenia were observed, the differences almost disappeared, although the observed rates of obesity were also higher among migrant children in Slovenia in comparison to Albanian and Macedonian children living in Macedonia. The differences in stature, body mass, triceps skinfold thickness and BMI between the migrant groups of children and population of children in Slovenia were very small, and there were no significant differences in pre-obesity and obesity rates.