References and cutoffs for triceps and subscapular skinfolds in Norwegian children 4–16 years of age

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Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:

To establish new reference values for triceps (TSF) and subscapular (SSF) skinfolds of Norwegian children 4–16 years of age, and to define cutoff values for overweight and obesity using the criteria of the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF).

SUBJECTS/METHODS:

A cross-sectional sample of 4606 children 4–16 years of age, part of a larger growth study, was used to estimate reference curves with the LMS method; suggested cutoffs were selected using receiver operating characteristic analyses.

RESULTS:

Reference values for TSF and SSF are presented as percentiles. Mean skinfold size increased with age. Girls had higher values than boys over the entire age range. There was a strong positive correlation between both skinfolds and body mass index (BMI). For all ages together, a cutoff of 1.0 standard deviation score (SDS) gave a sensitivity of 76% for SSF, and 70% for TSF to detect overweight, with a corresponding specificity of 92% for both. To detect obesity, a cutoff value of 1.3 SDS gave a sensitivity of 91% and specificity of 90% for SSF. Corresponding values for TSF were 86% for the sensitivity, and 91% for the specificity.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study presents new reference values for TSF and SSF skinfolds in Norwegian children 4–16 years of age. Both skinfolds had a high-discriminating power to detect overweight and obesity as defined by the IOTF BMI criteria.

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) 67, 928–933; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.91; published online 1 May 2013

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