Growth and Body Composition

Growth and Body Composition - Growth and Body Composition...

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Growth and Body Composition Growth is defined as an increase in body mass, and increase metabolically active protoplasm. Simply, getting bigger. Common measurements of growth include height, weight, length, and body composition. Hyperplasia is an increase in cell numbers; hyperplasia occurs early in life, during prenatal stages. Hypertrophy is an increase in cell size, this occurs after birth. Hyperplasia is a prenatal occurrence while hypertrophy occurs during young childhood and at puberty. Prenatal and post-natal stages are the major stages of growth. The prenatal stage is defined in three distinct phases. The blastocyst occurs immediately after fertilization, nutrition is found in uterine solutions and in the egg itself. The embryonic stage sees the differentiation of cells into specific tissues and organs as well as a slight increase in weight. The fetal stage sees a major growth in weight and composition; the fetus receives nutrients from the maternal bloodstream. A prenatal growth curve appears a simple exponential parabola when graphing the days against the body weight. Post-natal growth is that which occurs after parturition. The post-natal growth curve takes a sigmoid shape. Prior to the inflection point, growth is self-accelerating and exponential. After the inflection point, the growth slows due to restricting factors. The inflection point of the post- natal sigmoid growth curve is puberty.
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  • Fall '07
  • anterior pituitary gland, thyroxin, post-natal growth curve

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