Subcutaneous Fat Mass in Japanese Young Children

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The risk of excess fat appears to be greater in individuals who have larger subcutaneous fat measurements during childhood. However, the development of a subcutaneous fat mass (SFM) is difficult to define because it is generally difficult to measure directly. The purpose of this study was to investigate SFM in young children by measurement of anthropometric variables. The objectives of the study were to examine the differences in SFM between boys and girls, and the interrelationships between SFM and other anthropometric indices (e.g. skin-folds and skin-fold ratios) or total body fat mass (TBFM), in a homogeneous group of healthy young children. SFM was determined from anthropometric measurements, and TBFM by bioelectrical impedance analysis, in a sample of 141 boys and 139 girls, aged between 3-6 years. For each sex, the "normal-weight" group was defined based on a body mass index lying between the 25th and 75th percentiles. Sixty-nine boys (weighing 17.2±2.6 kg) and 70 girls (weighing 16.7±1.9 kg) were designated as being in the normal-weight groups. The normal-weight girls had significantly thicker skin-fold than the normal-weight boys: extremity skin-fold (37.9±5.2 vs. 35.0±6.0 mm, p < 0.01) and trunk skin-fold (19.3±4.1 vs. 17.1± 3.2 mm, p < 0.001). Absolute SFM was higher in normal-weight girls than in normal-weight boys (1.4±0.4 vs. 1.2±0.4 kg, p < 0.01). Of all the anthropometric variables, the extremity skin-fold showed the strongest correlation with SFM for the normal-weight boys (γ=0.819, p < 0.001), while the trunk skin-fold showed the strongest correlation for the normal-weight girls (γ=0.807, p < 0.001). The SFM was related independently to TBFM after controlling for each anthropometric variable. The regression slopes between SFM and TBFM were not statistically different (0.251 kg SFM/kg TBFM in boys and 0.290 kg SFM/kg TBFM in girls) for either sex. It can be concluded that there are no differences in TBFM or internal fat mass between normal-weight boys and girls, whereas, in contrast, sex differences in SFM are evident. The rate of increase in SFM relative to TBFM appears to be similar for both groups.


  • 健康科学

    健康科学 23 31-39, 2001-03-01

    Institute of Health Science,Kyushu University

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