Current perspective on assessment of human body proportions of relevance to amputees

J Am Diet Assoc. 1995 Feb;95(2):215-8. doi: 10.1016/S0002-8223(95)00050-X.


Weights of segmental components of the human body are important when evaluating the nutritional status of an amputee. Original standards for components were compiled in 1889 using three male cadavers. Since that time, studies of living subjects have shown men and women to be similar in percentage weight of body components. Cadaver data from 1955 and 1969, which were based on 21 male subjects, showed that human bodies carry greater weight in the head and torso and less weight in legs and arms than indicated by the earlier data. Some differences in component weight may be attributable to ethnicity and aging, but further research is needed to define these differences. The 1955 and 1969 data--whether the result of larger sample size, ethnic differences, or actual change in human body proportions over a 60-year period--are different from the standards for body proportions in the 1889 data, which are presently used, and should be incorporated into the assessment of weight status of amputees.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Amputees*
  • Body Constitution*
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Assessment*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Sex Characteristics