Anthropometric Measures and Body Composition

Walter Willett

in Nutritional Epidemiology

Second edition

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780195122978
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864249 | DOI:

Series: Monographs in Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Anthropometric Measures and Body Composition

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This chapter addresses the uses of measures of body size and composition, with special emphasis on epidemiologic applications. It begins with an overview of weight and height, including their relationships to nutritional status, their use in epidemiologic studies, and the reproducibility and validity of these measurements. The concept of major body compartments is discussed, and methods of measuring them are considered. The main part of the chapter addresses the assessment of relative body composition, specifically fatness, using densitometry, combinations of weight and height, skinfold thicknesses, and the newer methods of bioelectric resistance and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Finally, the evaluation of body fat distribution is reviewed, and the use of such measurements in epidemiologic analyses is examined.

Keywords: body size; composition; epidemiological studies; nutritional status; reproducibility

Chapter.  16698 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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