Anthropometry

J Eaton-Evans, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK

© 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

This article is reproduced from the first edition, pp. 1357-1363,

© 1999, Elsevier Ltd. with revisions made by the Editor.

Anthropometric measurements include weight, height, length, selected skinfold thicknesses, and head, waist, hip, and arm circumferences. When compared with reference values, these measurements or combinations of these measurements can provide information on body size and the proportion and distribution of body fat and lean body mass in adults; they can also be used to assess growth in children. Anthropometric measurements indirectly indicate present or past nutrition and may be markers of future ill-health.

This article reviews the uses, advantages, and limitations of anthropometric measurements; discusses the technical errors of the measurements; describes the most frequently used measurements, derived nutritional indices, and reference values; and summarizes the laboratory methods that may validate the assessments.

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