NARRATIVE REVIEW. How should we assess body fatness? 2. Quantitative field methods available to the epidemiologist and the practitioner.
Keywords:Adiposity, Body mass, Body mass index, Body build, Fat distribution, Impedance, Obesity, Photogrammetry, Skin-fold measurements.
AbstractObjective. The objectives of this narrative review are to consider and evaluate the simple quantitative field methods available to epidemiologists and clinical practitioners who wish to estimate body fat content. Methods. Information obtained from Ovid/Medline and Google Scholar through to January 2018 was supplemented by a search of the author's personal files. Results. Potential options include the calculation of body mass/height ratios, a variety of circumference measurements, determinations of skin-fold thicknesses, measurements of bioelectrical impedance, and photogrammetric determinations of body volume, all of which have significant limitations. Conclusions. The most widely used approaches are to examine departures from the actuarial ideal body mass, to calculate the body mass index (body mass/height2), and to measure the thickness of selected skin-folds. Information on the height-adjusted waist circumference is also useful as a means of distinguishing an android from a gynoid distri9bution of body fat.
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