Skinfold thickness measurements are better predictors of body fat percentage than body mass index in male Spanish children and adolescents

Eur J Clin Nutr. 1998 Aug;52(8):573-6. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600606.


Objective: To develop equations, from some simple anthropometric measurements, for the prediction of body density from underwater weighing in male spanish children and adolescents.

Subjects: One hundred and seventy-five males, aged 7.0-16.9 y, participated in this study, they were recruited from primary and secondary schools.

Measurements: Body weight and height and skinfold thicknesses by anthropometry, body density by underwater weighing.

Results: Correlations between body density and body mass index (BMI) were high until 14.0-16.9y. Correlations between body density and log sigma 4 skinfolds were higher than those with BMI at all ages. Log sigma 4 skinfolds explained between 61% (14.0-16.9 y) and 68% (11.0-13.9 y) of the body density variance. Regression equations for body density from BMI and triceps skinfold thickness explained between 51% (14.0-16.9y) and 68% (7.0-10.9 y) of the body density variance.

Conclusions: The best estimators of body density in the children and adolescents studied were log sigma 4 skinfolds and a combination of BMI and triceps skinfold.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue*
  • Adolescent
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skinfold Thickness*
  • Spain