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Use of skin-fold thickness in Sri Lankan children: Comparison of several prediction equations

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There are many prediction equations available in the literature for the assessment of body composition from skinfold thickness (SFT). This study aims to cross validate some of those prediction equations to determine the suitability of their use on Sri Lankan children.


Height, weight and SFT of 5 different sites were measured. Total body water was assessed using the isotope dilution method (D2O). Percentage Fat mass (%FM) was estimated from SFT using prediction equations described by five authors in the literature.


Five to 15 year old healthy, 282 Sri Lankan children were studied. The equation of Brook gave Ihe lowest bias but limits of agreement were high. Equations described by Deurenberg et al gave slightly higher bias but limits of agreement were narrowest and bias was not influence by extremes of body fat. Although prediction equations did not estimate %FM adequately, the association between %FM and SFT measures, were quite satisfactory.


We conclude that SFT can be used effectively in the assessment of body composition in children. However, for the assessment of body composition using SFT, either prediction equations should be derived to suit the local populations or existing equations should be cross-validated to determine the suitability before its application.

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Correspondence to Vithanage P. Wickramasinghe.

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Wickramasinghe, V.P., Lamabadusuriay, S.P., Cleghorn, G.J. et al. Use of skin-fold thickness in Sri Lankan children: Comparison of several prediction equations. Indian J Pediatr 75, 1237–1242 (2008).

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