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Assessment of total body fat using the skinfold technique in full-term and preterm infants
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Pediatrics. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Centre of Paediatrics and Gynecology and Obstetrics, Department of Paediatrics in Linköping.
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Biomedicine and Surgery, Division of surgery.
2006 (English)In: Acta Paediatrica, ISSN 0803-5253, Vol. 95, no 1, 21-28 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Assessment of body composition may be of interest when the nutritional status of infants is evaluated but is often difficult since simple and valid methods are lacking. With appropriate validation, measurements based on skinfold thickness (SFT) may be useful for this purpose. Aims: To evaluate the potential of a published method, based on measurements of SFT, to assess total body fat (TBF) of infants, and to calculate the fat content of adipose tissue (AT) in infants using previously published information regarding AT volume and total body water. Subjects and methods: Forty-five full-term infants and eight infants born in gestational weeks 31-33 were studied at a postnatal age of 4-131 and 44-75 d, respectively. The body water dilution method was used to obtain reference estimates of TBF (TBF-BWD). Results: In full-term infants, TBF assessed using the skinfold method (TBF-SFT) minus TBF-BWD was 1.5±10.8% (mean±2 SD). Furthermore, TBF-SFT minus TBF-BWD (%, y) was correlated (p <0.0001) with the average of TBF-SFT and TBF-BWD (%, x), showing that TBF-SFT was too high in lean infants and too low in infants with more TBF. In the full-term infants, AT contained 0.68±0.14 g fat/ml. In the premature infants, TBF-SFT (%), TBF-BWD (%) and the AT fat content were similar to the corresponding figures in nine full-term newborns. Conclusion: The results indicate that the SFT method produced inaccurate and biased estimates of TBF in infants. A considerable variation between infants regarding their AT fat content may be an important reason for these findings. © 2006 Taylor & Francis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 95, no 1, 21-28 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35739DOI: 10.1080/08035250500323731Local ID: 28350OAI: diva2:256587
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2011-01-11

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Olhager, ElisabethForsum, Elisabet
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Faculty of Health SciencesPediatricsDepartment of Paediatrics in LinköpingDivision of surgery
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