Assessment of Child Anthropometry in a Large Epidemiologic Study.

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A high proportion of children have overweight and obesity in the United States and other countries. Accurate assessment of anthropometry is essential to understand health effects of child growth and adiposity. Gold standard methods of measuring adiposity, such as dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), may not be feasible in large field studies. Research staff can, however, complete anthropometric measurements, such as body circumferences and skinfold measurements, using inexpensive portable equipment. In this protocol we detail how to obtain manual anthropometric measurements from children, including standing and sitting height, weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, mid-upper arm circumference, triceps skinfold thickness, and subscapular skinfold thickness, and procedures to assess the quality of these measurements. To demonstrate accuracy of these measurements, among 1,110 school-aged children in the pre-birth cohort Project Viva we calculated Spearman correlation coefficients comparing manual anthropometric measurements with a gold standard measure of body fat, DXA fat mass(1). To address reliability, we evaluate intra-rater technical error of measurement at a quality control session conducted on adult female volunteers.

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Assessment of Child Anthropometry in a Large Epidemiologic Study.
Louer AL, Simon DN, Switkowski KM, Rifas-Shiman SL, Gillman MW, Oken E