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Wolverhampton Intellectual Repository and E-Theses > School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure > Research Centre for Sport, Exercise and Performance > Exercise and Health > Relationship between adiposity and body size reveals limitations of BMI.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/8003
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Title: Relationship between adiposity and body size reveals limitations of BMI.
Authors: Nevill, Alan M.
Stewart, Arthur D.
Olds, Tim
Holder, Roger L.
Citation: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 129(1): 151-156
Publisher: Wiley InterScience
Journal: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue Date: 2006
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/8003
DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.20262
PubMed ID: 16270304
Additional Links: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/112139050/abstract
Abstract: The aims of this study were to assess 1) whether the stature-adjusted body mass index (BMI) is a valid proxy for adiposity across both athletic and nonathletic populations, and 2) whether skinfold measurements increase in proportion to body size, thus obeying the principle of geometric similarity. The research design was cross-sectional, allowing the relationship between skinfold calliper readings (at eight sites and between specific athletic and nonathletic groups, n = 478) and body size (either mass, stature, or both) to be explored both collectively, using proportional allometric MANCOVA, and individually (for each site) with follow-up ANCOVAs. Skinfolds increase at a much greater rate relative to body mass than that assumed by geometric similarity, but taller subjects had less rather than more adiposity, calling into question the use of the traditional skinfold-stature adjustment, 170.18/stature. The best body-size index reflective of skinfold measurements was a stature-adjusted body mass index similar to the BMI. However, sporting differences in skinfold thickness persisted, having controlled for differences in body size (approximate BMI) and age, with male strength- and speed-trained athletes having significantly lower skinfolds (32% and 23%, respectively) compared with controls. Similarly, female strength athletes had 29% lower skinfold measurements compared to controls, having controlled for body size and age. These results cast serious doubts on the validity of BMI to represent adiposity accurately and its ability to differentiate between populations. These findings suggest a more valid (less biased) assessment of fatness will be obtained using surface anthropometry such as skinfolds taken by experienced practitioners following established procedures.
Type: Article
Language: en
Keywords: Adiposity
Body Size
BMI
Body Mass Index
ISSN: 0002-9483
Appears in Collections: Sport, Exercise and Health Research Group
Exercise and Health
Learning and Teaching in Sport, Exercise and Performance

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