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Assessment of body fatness in young children using the skinfold technique and BMI vs body water dilution
Linköping University, Department of Biomedicine and Surgery, Nutrition. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Biomedicine and Surgery. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2004 (English)In: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, ISSN 0954-3007, E-ISSN 1476-5640, Vol. 58, no 3, 541-547 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: To compare body fatness estimated using a skinfold technique and body mass index (BMI) with body fatness estimated using the body water dilution method in healthy Swedish children 9 or 14 months of age.

Methods: Total body fat (TBF) was calculated from total body water, estimated using the doubly labelled water method, and body weight. When expressed in per cent of body weight, these estimates (%TBF-BWD) represented reference values for body fatness. Body fatness was also calculated from skinfold thickness (%TBF-SFT) and as BMI. The children were ranked and grouped into five groups with an increasing level of body fatness using BMI, %TBF-SFT and %TBF-BWD, respectively.

Subjects: A total of 30 infants 9 months of age and 29 children 14 months of age.

Results: On average, the children (n=59) had a BMI=17.51.6 kg/m2 and contained 27.83.7 %TBF-SFT and 29.14.4 %TBF-BWD. %TBF-BWD minus %TBF-SFT was=1.354.06%. By measuring %TBF-SFT or BMI, about 35% of the children could be classified in the correct group with respect to body fatness. Serious misclassification (ie two or more groups too high or too low) was, however, more common for %TBF-SFT (29%) than for BMI (17%).

Conclusions: The capacity of BMI to place children in the correct body fatness group was poor although not quite as poor as the corresponding capacity of the skinfold technique. The latter method produced inaccurate and imprecise estimates of body fatness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 58, no 3, 541-547 p.
Keyword [en]
body fat, children, skinfold thickness, body mass index, total body water
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-23930DOI: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601842ISI: 000189220000019Local ID: 3478OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-23930DiVA: diva2:244245
Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2013-09-12
In thesis
1. Total energy expenditure and body composition in healthy Swedish children 9 and 14 months of age
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Total energy expenditure and body composition in healthy Swedish children 9 and 14 months of age
2003 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Nutrition during early life is of fundamental importance for optimal health during childhood as well as later in life. The prevalence and the severity of obesity in children and adults are presently increasing at alarming rates world wide, which is of great concern as obesity is associated with increased morbidity. Available systematic information regarding body composition development during childhood is presently very limited and there is a need for accurate methods for determining body fatness in young children. The doubly labelled water (DLW)-method is non-invasive and measures total body water (TB W) and total energy expenditure (TEE) of humans during true free-living conditions. Estimates of TB W can be used to assess body fatness. Previous studies in young children below 3 years of age have shown low values for TEE, indicating that current recommendations for dietary energy intake are too high. However, in most of these studies the children were below 6 months of age, and no Swedish studies cover the age range 7-36 months of age.

Subjects & Methods: TEE and TBW were measured by means of the DLW-method in healthy Swedish children at 9 (n=30) or 14 (n=29) months of age. Total body fat (TBF) was calculated from TBW and body weight using the body water dilution (BWD)-method. When expressed in percent of body weight, these estimates (% TBF-BWD) represented reference values for body fatness. Body fatness was also measured using the skin fold thickness technique (% TBF-SFT) and body mass index (BM I). The children were ranked and grouped into five groups with increasing levels of body fatness using %TBF-BWD, %TBF-SFT and BMI, respectively.

Results: TEE was 323 ± 38, 322 ± 29, 313 ± 23 and 331 ± 28 kJ/kg/d for 9-month-old girls and boys and 14-month-old girls and boys, respectively. BMI, %TBF-SFT and %TBF-BWD for all children were 17.5 ± 1.6, 27.8 ± 3.7% and 29.1 ± 4.4%, respectively. %TBF-BWD minus %TBF-SFT was = 1.35 ± 4.06% (n=59). By measuring %TBF-SFT or BMI, about 35% of the children could be classified in the correct group with respect to body fatness. Serious misclassification was more common for %TBF-SFT (29%) than for BMI (17%). There was a significant inverse linear relationship between PAL and %TBF-BWD (r = -0.81, P<0.00l, n=59).

Conclusions: The requirements for dietary energy of a group of Swedish children, 9 and 14 months of age, were 15-20% lower than indicated by current recommendations. In the group of children studied, BMI as well as the skinfold technique were poor tools for classification of body fatness. The skinfold technique produced inaccurate and imprecise estimates of body fatness. It can be speculated that the relationship between PAL and %TBF-BWD indicates that children with a high percent body fat are more likely to be in a state of positive energy balance, which would favour fat retention, possibly establishing a vicious cycle early in life leading to further accumulation of fat in the body.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2003. 33 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Health Sciences. Thesis, ISSN 1100-6013 ; 60
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-25730 (URN)10108 (Local ID)91-7373-532-9 (ISBN)10108 (Archive number)10108 (OAI)
Presentation
2003-02-14, Lärosal 1, Hälsans hus, Universitetssjukhuset, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2013-09-12

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