Effect of Summer Holidays on Anthropometric Measures and Body Composition of Older Adults, Inadequacy of Body Mass Index to Detect Changes During a Critical Period: A Pilot Study

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Pablo A. Lizana; Rubén López & Cecilia Albala


Obesity is a major health problem worldwide. Obesity prevalence in Chilean older adults (OA) is increasing, associated with several negative health outcomes. Therefore, determining critical periods of adiposity increase is relevant in OA. The aim of the study was to assess body composition changes in OA during summer holidays. This observational study involved two test visits, without a control group. Twelve OA (9 females) with an average age of 71.92±6.97 years participated in an initial evaluation (E1) and final evaluation (E2) at the beginning and at the end of the summer in 2015. Weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) were assessed; fat-free mass (FFM), fat mass (FM), and muscular mass (MM) data were collected through foot-to-foot bioimpedance analysis. No significant variations were reported in weight and BMI between E1 and E2. This prevalence was maintained between E1 and E2. The FM significantly increased between E1 (27.63±10.91) and E2 (28.64±11.39) (p= 0.007), while the FFM significantly decreased between E1 (45.38±5.89) and E2 (44.33±5.36) (P= 0.006), also the MM between E1 (43.08±5.62) and E2 (42.07±5.10). Both, weight and BMI are insufficient measures for detecting changes during this critical summer holiday period. However, the body composition measures identified significant changes in the OA during the study.

KEY WORDS: Sarcopenia; Body fat; Obesity; Bioelectrical impedance.

How to cite this article

LIZANA, P. A.; LÓPEZ, R. & ALBALA, C. Effect of summer holidays on anthropometric measures and body composition of older adults, inadequacy of body mass index to detect changes during a critical period: A pilot study. Int. J. Morphol., 34(2):557-560, 2016.