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Assessment of body composition in Sri Lankan children: validation of a skin fold thickness equation

Authors:

VP Wickramasinghe ,

Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo 08, LK
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SP Lamabadusuriya,

Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo 08, LK
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GJ Cleghorn,

Children's Nutrition Research Centre, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, AU
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PSW Davies

Children's Nutrition Research Centre, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, AU
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Abstract

Background Morbidity associated with obesity is related to the fat mass (FM) of the body. The direct estimation of FM is difficult. Skin fold thickness (SFT) is a simple and cheap alternative for accurate assessment of FM, and population specific equations are necessary for accurate assessment of FM using SFT.

Objective To develop a SFT prediction equation to estimate FM of Sri Lankan children.

Design, setting and method A cross-sectional descriptive study was done at the University Paediatric Unit of Lady Ridgeway Hospital, Colombo. Data were collected from 5 to 15 year old healthy children. Triceps, biceps, supra-iliac and subscapular SFT were measured using Harpendens skin fold caliper. Total body water was assessed using an isotope dilution method (D2O), and fat free mass calculated. FM was assessed based on 2 compartment body composition model. Multiple regression analysis was used to develop prediction equation and validated using PRESS (prediction of sum of squares) statistical technique. Independent variables were age, triceps SFT, subscapular SFT and sex.

Results Prediction equation for FM [(0.68×age) + (0.246×triceps SFT) + (0.383×subscapular SFT) - (1.61×sex code) -3.45] was able to predict 76.4% of variance with a root mean squared error (RMSE) of 3.4 kg. PRESS statistics was 3.4 kg with press residuals of 1.56 kg. Bland-Altman technique showed that the majority of the residuals were within mean bias ±1.96 SD.

Conclusion Results of this study provide an SFT equation for the prediction of FM in Sri Lankan children.   

Key words: Body composition; Sri Lankan children

doi:10.4038/cmj.v53i3.247

Ceylon Medical Journal Vol. 53, No. 3, September 2008 pp.83-88

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v53i3.247
How to Cite: Wickramasinghe, V., Lamabadusuriya, S., Cleghorn, G. and Davies, P., 2008. Assessment of body composition in Sri Lankan children: validation of a skin fold thickness equation. Ceylon Medical Journal, 53(3), pp.83–88. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v53i3.247
Published on 17 Dec 2008.
Peer Reviewed

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