Anthropometric and body composition parameters to predict body fat percentage and lipid profile in schoolchildren

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of anthropometric and body composition parameters in the prediction of body fat percentage and lipid profile in schoolchildren. METHODS: Cross-sectional study with 209 schoolchildren aged between seven and nine years old. The following variables were evaluated: weight, height, body mass index, percentage of body fat, arm and waist circumferences, conicity index, waist-to-height ratio, waist-to-hip ratio, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and high and low density lipoproteins. Statistic treatment included the use of Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Student's t and Mann-Whitney tests, and Spearman and Pearson's correlations. Receiver Operating Characteristic curves were used to identify the predictors of elevated body fat percentage and lipid alterations. RESULTS: Body fat percentage was the variable with the largest number of correlations, especially with weight, body mass index, and arm circumference in both genders, and with waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio among males. Body mass index, arm and waist circumferences in both genders and waist-to-hip ratio for males showed good discriminatory power for predicting high body fat percentage. Anthropometric and body composition parameters were not able to predict lipid profile alterations, except for body fat percentage, arm and waist circumferences and waist-to-hip ratio, which were good predictors of triglycerides alterations in males. CONCLUSIONS: Dyslipidemia could not be predicted by anthropometric and body composition measurements in children, especially among females, suggesting the need for investigating lipid profile by laboratorial exams.

child; dyslipidemias; anthropometry; body composition

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