Effectiveness of body fat measurement methods in obese adolescents

Yosmaoglu H. B., Baltaci G., DERMAN O.



Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare simple anthropometric measurements with objective body fat measurement outcomes and to determine the methods which had high effectiveness thus to make a contribution to the easy and effective diagnosis of the obesity. Materials and methods: Body fat mass of 88 obese adolescents was measured by bioelectric impedance analysis. Skinfold thickness, waist and hip circumferences were measured to determine the distribution of body fat. Correlation analysis was performed to investigate the relationship among these measurements. Results: A modest positive correlation was found between fat mass and triceps, abdominal, suprailiac skinfold thickness in girls (r=0.56, 0.52, 0.62; p<0.01, respectively). There was a strong positive correlation between body fat mass and body mass index (BMI), waist, hip circumference (r=0.89, 0.82, 0.85; p<0.01, respectively). In boys, there was a modest positive correlation between fat mass and subscapular, pectoral skinfold thickness (r=0.67, 0.43; p<0.01, respectively). Strong positive correlation was also found between fat mass and triceps skinfold thickness, waist, hip circumference, BMI (r=0.75, 0.86, 0.89, 0.96, p<0.01). Weak positive correlation between waist to hip ratio and fat mass was not statistically significant in both genders (girls: r=0.18, boys: r=0.13; p>0.05). Conclusion: The result of these study indicated that there was a strong correlation between body fat mass and waist, hip circumference. The skinfold thickness correlated less with body fat mass. Therefore, waist and hip circumferences which show body fat more accurately could be suggested as an effective method to measure obesity in adolescents.