Body composition measurements: from the past to the future

Acta Paediatr Suppl. 2005 Jun;94(448):8-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2005.tb02123.x.


During growth, the human body increases in size and changes its proportions of various components due to hormone mediators. Growth is a complex, biological process regulated by multiple factors. These factors include genetics, nutritional intake, physical activity, age, gender and endocrine balance, all of which influence a child's body composition during the growth years. Quantifying the main components is integral to the study of growth, as the assessment of human physical characteristics is important both in the anthropological and medical fields. It is important to have the possibility to control the growth process and to predict adult status in order to reduce the risk factors of various diseases.

Conclusion: This paper examines issues in the measurements of paediatric body composition, describing traditional and new tools in this field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adolescent
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Weights and Measures / methods*
  • Body Weights and Measures / trends*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electric Impedance
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Plethysmography
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed