Background: Numerous studies have been carried out on the growth of human migrant populations. However, studies on the auxological pattern of Chinese migrant population are limited in Italy.
Aims: In this paper we examine the growth pattern from birth to 24 months and the body composition of Chinese infants born and living in Bologna (north Italy).
Subjects and methods: A longitudinal study was conducted recruiting 224 healthy Chinese children. The anthropometric measurements were collected when the children were immunized. Body mass index (BMI), Arm Muscle Area and Arm Fat Area were calculated.
Results: The growth of Chinese Italian children is adequate, being within the normal limits according to the NCHS reference standard. In comparison with Chinese children living in China and abroad, their body length is greater. Comparisons with growth curves for Italian children (Emilia-Romagna) show that weight and length values are higher in Chinese children than in Italians until 12 months, and comparable thereafter. The weight and length growth velocities are similar to those reported for Italian children.
Conclusion: As a whole, the results of the present study support the hypothesis that Chinese children born and living in Italy grow in an appropriate environment to achieve their growth potential.