Anthropometric Approaches to the Nutritional Assessment of the Elderly

  • William Cameron Chumlea
  • Alex F. Roche
  • Maria L. Steinbaugh
Part of the Human Nutrition book series (HUNU, volume 6)


The nutritional assessment of an elderly person needs to include data from medical and dietary histories, laboratory measurements, immune-testing results, and anthropometry in order to evaluate present nutritional status or changes in nutritional status as completely as is practical. Anthropometry can also be used to evaluate trends in nutritional status and to help to monitor the effects of nutritional intervention. This chapter discusses the importance of anthropometry in the assessment of nutritional status in the elderly.


Body Composition Nutritional Status Elderly Person Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Nutritional Assessment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abraham, S., Johnson, C. L., and Najjar, M. F., 1978, Weight and Height of Adults 18–74 Years of Age, Vital and Health Statistics Series 11 No. 211, DHEW Publication No. (PHS) 79-165, Rockville, MD.Google Scholar
  2. Arnold, J. S., Bartley, M. H., Tont, S.A., and Jenkins, D. P., 1966, Skeletal changes in aging and disease, Clin. Orthop. 49:17–37.Google Scholar
  3. Bastow, M. D., 1982, Anthropometrics revisited, Proc. Nutr. Soc. 41:381–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benedict, F. G., 1928, Basal metabolism data on normal men and women (series II) with some considerations of the use of prediction standards, Am. J. Physiol. 85:607–613.Google Scholar
  5. Blackburn, G. L., Bistrian, B. R., Maini, B. S., Schlamm, H. T., and Smith, M. F., 1977, Nutritional and metabolic assessment of the hospitalized patient, J. Parent. Ent. Nutr. 1:11–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boothby, W. M., Berkson, S. R., and Dunn, H. L., 1936, Studies of the energy metabolism of normal individuals: A standard for basal metabolism with nomogram for clinical application, Am. J. Physiol. 116:468–473.Google Scholar
  7. Borkan, G. A., and Hults, D. E., 1983, Change in body fat content and distribution during aging, Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 60:175.Google Scholar
  8. Borkan, G. A., and Norris, A. H., 1977, Fat distributions and the changing body dimensions of the adult male, Hum. Biol. 49:495–514.Google Scholar
  9. Borkan, G. A., Sparrow, D., Wisniewski, C., and Vokonos, P. S., 1986, Body weight and coronary disease risk: Patterns of risk factor change associated with long-term weight change, Am. J. Epidemiol. 124:410–419.Google Scholar
  10. Bowman, B. B., and Rosenberg, I. H., 1982, Assessment of the nutritional status of the elderly, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 35:1142–1151.Google Scholar
  11. Brown, O. T., and Wigzell, F. W., 1963, The significance of span as a clinical measurement. Conference on Medical and Surgical Aspects of Aging, in: Current Achievements in Geriatrics, Cassell, London, pp. 246–251.Google Scholar
  12. Butterworth, C. E., and Blackburn, G. L., 1975, Hospital malnutrition, Nutr. Today 10:8–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cameron, N., 1978, The methods of auxological anthropometry, in: Human Growth, Volume 2, Postnatal Growth (F. Falkner and J. M. Tanner eds.), Plenum Press, New York, pp. 35–90.Google Scholar
  14. Chumlea, W. C., Roche, A. F., and Rogers, E., 1984a, Replicability for anthropometry in the elderly, Hum. Biol. 56:329–337.Google Scholar
  15. Chumlea, W. C., Roche, A. F., and Webb, P., 1984b, Body size, subcutaneous fatness and total body fat in older adults, Int. J. Obesity 8:313–317.Google Scholar
  16. Chumlea, W. C., Roche, A. F., and Steinbaugh, M. L., 1985a, Estimating stature from knee height for persons 60 to 90 years of age, J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 33:116–120.Google Scholar
  17. Chumlea, W. C., Roche, A. F., Steinbaugh, M. L., and Mukherjee, D., 1985b, Errors of measurement for methods of recumbent nutritional anthropometry in the elderly, J. Nutr. Elderly 5:3–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Chumlea, W. C., Steinbaugh, M. L., Roche, A. F., Mukherjee, D., and Gopalaswamy, N., 1985c, Nutritional anthropometric assessment in elderly persons 65 to 90 years of age, J. Nutr. Elderly 4:39–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Chumlea, W. C., Roche, A. F., and Mukherjee, D., 1986, Some anthropometric indices of body composition for elderly adults, J. Gerontol. 41:36–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chumlea, W. C., Roche, A. F., and Mukherjee, D., 1987, Nutritional Assessment in the Elderly Through Anthropometry, Ross Laboratories, Columbus, OH.Google Scholar
  21. Chumlea, W. C., Guo, S., and Roche, A. F., 1988, Prediction of body weight for the nonambulatory elderly, J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 88:564–568.Google Scholar
  22. Cronk, C. E., and Roche, A. F., 1982, Race-and sex-specific reference data for triceps and subscapular skinfolds and weight/stature.2, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 35:347–354.Google Scholar
  23. Dequeker, J. V., Baeyers, J. B., and Claessens, J., 1969, The significance of stature as a clinical measurement of aging, J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 17:169–179.Google Scholar
  24. Dubois, E. F., 1936, Basal Metabolism in Health and Disease, 3rd ed., Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  25. Durnin, J. V. G. A., and Womersley, J., 1974, Body fat assessed from total body density and its estimation from skinfold thickness: Measurements on 481 men and women aged from 16 to 72 years, Br. J. Nutr. 32:77–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Exton-Smith, A. N., 1982, Epidemiological studies in the elderly: Methodological considerations, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 35:1273–1279.Google Scholar
  27. Fanelli, M. T., 1987, The ABC’s of nutritional assessment in older adults, J. Nutr. Elderly 6:33–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fentem, P. H., Jones, P. R. M., MacDonald, I. C., and Scriven, P. M., 1976, Changes in the body composition of elderly men following retirement from the steel industry, J. Physiol. (Lond.) 258:29P–30P.Google Scholar
  29. Fisher, S., Hendricks, D. G., and Mahoney, A. W., 1978, Nutritional assessments of senior rural Utahns by biochemical and physical measurements, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 31:667–672.Google Scholar
  30. Forbes, G. B., 1976, The adult decline in lean body mass, Hum. Biol. 48:161–173.Google Scholar
  31. Grahame, R., 1970, A method for measuring human skin elasticity in vivo with observations on the effects of age, sex and pregnancy, Clin. Sci. 39:223–238.Google Scholar
  32. Guenter, P. A., Moore, K., Crosby, L. O., Buzby, G. P., and Mullen, J. L., 1982, Body Weight measurement of patients receiving nutritional support, J. Parent. Ent. Nutr. 6:441–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Harris, J. A., and Benedict, F. G., 1919, A Biometric Study of Basal Metabolism in Man, Carnegie Institute of Washington, Washington.Google Scholar
  34. Heber, D., 1986, Assessing nutritional status of the elderly, Diagnosis 8:41–62.Google Scholar
  35. Heymsfield, S. B., Olalson, R. P., Kutner, M. H., and Nixon, D. W., 1979, A radiographie method of quantifying protein-caloric malnutrition, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 32:693–702.Google Scholar
  36. Heymsfield, S. B., McManus, C., Smith, J., Stevens, V., and Nixon, D. W., 1982, Anthropometrie measurement of muscle mass: Revised equations for calculating bone-free arm muscle area, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 36:680–690.Google Scholar
  37. Himes, J. H., Roche, A. F., and Siervogel, R. M., 1979, Compressibility of skinfolds and the measurement of subcutaneous fatness, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 32:1734–1740.Google Scholar
  38. Kemm, J. R., and Allcock, J., 1984, The distribution of supposed indicators of nutritional status in elderly patients, Age Aging 13:21–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Laitiner, O., 1978, Osteoporosis, nature, treatment and possible future trends, Public Health Rev. 7:169–195.Google Scholar
  40. Laubach, L. L., Glaser, R. M., and Suryaprasad, A. G., 1981, Anthropometry of aged male wheelchairdependent patients, Ann. Hum. Biol. 8:25–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lohman, T., Martorell, R., and Roche, A. F. (eds.), 1988, Anthropometrie Standardization Reference Manual Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.Google Scholar
  42. Long, C. L., Schaffel, N., and Gieger, J. W., 1979, Metabolic response to injury and illness: Estimation of energy and protein needs from indirect calorimetry and nitrogen balance, J. Parent. Eng. Nutr. 3:452–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. MacLenman, W. J., Hall, M. R. P., Timothy, J. I., and Robinson, M., 1980, Is weakness in old age due to muscle wasting? Age Aging 9:188–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Malina, R. M., Little, B. B., Stern, M. P., Gaskill, S. P., and Hazuda, H. P., 1983, Ethnic and social class differences in selected anthropometric characteristics of Mexican American and Anglo adults: The San Antonio heart study, Hum. Biol. 55:867–883.Google Scholar
  45. Mitchell, C. O., and Lipschitz, D. A., 1982a, The effects of age and sex on the routinely used measurements to assess the nutritional status of hospitalized patients, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 36:340–349.Google Scholar
  46. Mitchell, C. O., and Lipschitz, D. A., 1982b, Arm length measurement as an alternative to height in nutritional assessments of the elderly, J. Parent. Ent. Nutr. 6:226–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mitchell, C. O., and Lipschitz, D. A., 1982c, Detection of protein caloric malnutrition in the elderly, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 35:398–406.Google Scholar
  48. Noppa, H., Anderson, M., Bengtsson, C., Bruce, A., and Isaksson, B., 1979, Body composition in middleaged women with special reference in the correlation between body fat mass and anthropometric data, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 32:1388–1395.Google Scholar
  49. Norris, A. H., Lundy, T., and Shock, N. W., 1963, Trends in selected indices of body composition in men between the ages 30 and 90 years, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 110:623–639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Novak, L. P., 1972, Aging, total body potassium, fat-free mass and cell mass in males and females between ages 18 and 85 years, J. Gerontol. 27:438–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Patrick, J. M., Baasey, E. J., and Fentem, P. H., 1982, Changes in body fat and muscle in manual workers and at the retirement, Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 49:187–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Roche, A. F., Siervogel, R. M., Chumlea, W. C., and Webb, P., 1981, Grading body fatness from limited anthropometric data, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 34:2831–2838.Google Scholar
  53. Rossman, I., 1977, Anatomic and body composition changes with aging, in: Handbook of the Biology of Aging (C E. Finch and L. Hayflick, eds.), Van Nostrand, New York, pp. 189–221.Google Scholar
  54. Rowe, J. W., and Kahn, R. L., 1987, Human aging: Usual and successful, Science 237:143–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Steen, B., Bruce, A., Isaksson, B., Levin, T., and Ivanborg, A., 1977, Body composition in 70-year-old males and females in Gothenburg, Sweden—a population study, Acta Med. Scand. [Suppl.] 611:87–112.Google Scholar
  56. Steen, G. B., Isaksson, B., and Svanberg, A., 1979, Body composition at 70 and 75 years of age. A longitudinal population study, J. Clin. Exp. Gerontol. 1:185–200.Google Scholar
  57. Stoudt, H. W., Damon, A., McFarland, R. A., and Roberts, J., 1965, Weight, Height and Selected Body Dimensions of Adults, Vital and Health Statistics Series 11, DHEW Publication No. (PHS) 1000, Rockville, MD.Google Scholar
  58. Vir, S. C., and Love, A. H. G., 1980, Anthropometric measurements in the elderly, Gerontology 26:1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Ward, G. M., Krzywicki, H. J., Rahman, D. P., Quaas, R. L., Nelson, R. A., and Consolazio, C. F., 1975, Relationship of anthropometric measurements to body fat as determined by densitometry, potassium-40, and body water, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 28:162–169.Google Scholar
  60. Wessel, J. A., Ufer, A., Van Huss, W. D., and Cederquist, D., 1963, Age trends of various components of body composition and functional characteristics in women 29-69 years, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 110:608–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Young, C. M., Blondin, J., Tensuan, R., and Fryer, J. H., 1963, Body composition studies of “older” women thirty to seventy years of age, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 110:589–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zoreb, P. A., Prime, F. J., and Harrison, A., 1963, Estimation of height from tibial length, Lancet 1:195–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Cameron Chumlea
    • 1
  • Alex F. Roche
    • 1
  • Maria L. Steinbaugh
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Human Biology, Department of PediatricsWright State University School of MedicineDaytonUSA
  2. 2.Nutrition EducationRoss LaboratoriesColumbusUSA

Personalised recommendations