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Year : 1996  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 97-100

Assessment of percent body fat content in young and middle aged men: skinfold method v/s girth method.

Dept of Physiology, Grant Medical College, Byculla, Bombay, Maharashtra.

Correspondence Address:
S S Hegde
Dept of Physiology, Grant Medical College, Byculla, Bombay, Maharashtra.

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 0009715308

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Percent body fat content was found in apparently normal healthy 30 young (17-20 Yrs.) and 30 middle aged men (30-46 Yrs.) by measuring the skinfold and girth. None of the subjects were athletes or did regular physical exercise. Body density was calculated using mean of the four skinfold measurements as per the equations advocated by Durnin and Womersley, while percent body fat content was calculated from the body density by the Siri's equation. The mean % body fat content by this method in young men was 15.87 +/- 3.85% and in middle aged men was 24.75 +/- 3.55%. Ten percent of the young subjects and 90% of the middle aged subjects were found to be obese. Percent body fat content was also calculated from the girth measurements as advocated by McArdle et al. The mean of % body fat content with this method was 14.91 +/- 3.82% in young men and 24.30 +/- 3.35% in middle aged men. On comparison, the difference in percent body fat content calculated by both the methods was found to be significant in young men but not for middle aged men. The correlation, coefficient between girth method and skinfold method was 0.95 in case of young men and 0.90 for middle aged men. Therefore, we advocate that girth measurements can be used to determine percent body fat content, main advantage being simplicity of technique and requirement of inexpensive instruments for measurement.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow