Validation of simple epidemiological or clinical methods for the measurement of body composition in young children

Diane M Jackson, Zoe Donaghy, Kurosh Djafarian, John J Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to determine the validity of simple epidemiological and clinical methods for the assessment of body fatness in preschool children.

METHODS: In 89 children (42 boys, 47 girls; mean age 4.1 SD 1.3y) measures of body fatness were made using total body water (TBW), dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), air displacement plethysmography (BODPOD) and skinfold thickness. Methods were compared by Bland-Altman analysis using TBW as the reference method, and by paired comparisons and rank order correlations.

FINDINGS: Bias for DXA was +1.8% body fat percentage units (limits of agreement +15.5% to -11.9%), bias for BODPOD was -3.5% (limits of agreement +18.9% to -5.9%) and bias for skinfolds using the Slaughter equations was -6.5% (limits of agreement +10.0% to -23.1%). Significant rank order correlations with TBW measures of fatness were obtained for DXA estimates of fatness (r=0.54, P=0.01), but not for estimates of fat by skinfold thickness (r=0.20, P=0.2) or BODPOD (r=0.25, P=0.1). Differences between both DXA and BODPOD and the reference TBW estimates of body fatness were not significant (P=0.06 and P=0.1 respectively); however, the difference in estimated body fatness between skinfold thickness and TBW was significant (P<0.001).

CONCLUSION: Estimates of body fatness in preschool children were inaccurate at the level of the individual child using all the methods, but DXA might provide unbiased estimates and a means of making relative assessments of body fatness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-691
Number of pages7
JournalIranian journal of pediatrics
Volume24
Issue number6
Early online date16 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

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