New standards of weight and body composition by frame size and height for assessment of nutritional status of adults and the elderly

Am J Clin Nutr. 1984 Oct;40(4):808-19. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/40.4.808.


The study includes measurements of height, weight, triceps skinfold, subscapular skinfold, upper arm circumference, and elbow breadth of a cross-sectional multiracial sample of 21,752 subjects aged 25 to 74 yr derived from the data sets of the first and second National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES I and NHANES II). Based on these data, percentiles of weight, skinfolds, and bone-free upper arm muscle area by height, sex, and frame size were established for all races combined in two groups: adults aged 25 to 54 yr and the elderly aged 55 to 74 yr. These new standards can be used to differentiate those who are at risk of being obese and undernourished. It is recommended that assessment of anthropometric nutritional status and health status of contemporary adult and elderly populations be made with reference to the present standards in conjunction with age correction factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Reference Values
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • United States