IT IS THE purpose of this paper to assemble and discuss the results from several studies relating to differences in average body size among children representing various socioeconomic levels. Specifically, consideration is restricted to investigative work carried out in the United States and Canada, to the age period from 7 to 10 years, and to materials on one sex (boys). Within this age-sex-geographic scaffold, the objectives of the paper include colligating the available research literature, reporting new findings from a 1950 investigation, and epitomizing the present status of knowledge on the problem.
The problem can be expressed in the following more generalized form: What is the relation between socioeconomic status and body size in North American children of elementary-school age? This amount of latitude in formulation is justifiable, since (a) the ages 7 to 10 typify the elementary-school years and (b) the findings reported on girls are similar to those