Determination of Fat Mass Percentage by Measuring Body Circumferences, Weight and Height: A Validation Study

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Díaz, J. & Espinoza-Navarro, O.


Obesity is characterized by an excessive increase in body fat. In Chile (2010), 25.1% and 39,3% of the population over 15 years old were reported with obesity and overweight respectively. The objective of this study was to validate an economic and easy method to use for education professionals to determine the percentage of fat mass (% FM) in schoolchildren, measuring the variables body circumferences, weight and height (CWH).A sample of 1725 primary school students, 1020 girls and 705 boys, in age of 10 to 14 years old from Arica (Region XV), were analyzed to determine % FM according to the model proposed (CWH), as reference models were used Durnin & Womersley protocols (1974) and the Slaughter et al. protocol (1988).The results show that body mass index (BMI), have normal values of 21 kg/m2 for both girls and boys. The sum of the body skinfolds biceps, triceps, subscapular, iliac and abdominal (S5) is significantly higher in women, compared to males (108.5 mm and 81.4 mm respectively).The comparison of the percentage of fat mass between the various models in study demonstrates that the proposed model of "circumferences, weight and height (CWH), not show significant differences (NS). All models express percentage of fat mass over 20% in the study population, typical of overweight and obesity. We conclude that the model of circumference, weight and height (CWH), is effective to determine the percentages of body fat in school population. In addition the study population has high levels of fat mass.

Key words: Body circumference; Chile; Basic Education.

How to cite this article

DÍAZ, J. & ESPINOZA-NAVARRO, O. Determination of fat mass percentage by measuring body circumferences, weight and height: A validation study. Int. J. Morphol., 30(4):1604-1610, 2012.