Growth of Skinfold Thickness in the Undernourished Santal Children: A Focus on the Purulia District of India

  • Sutanu Dutta Chowdhry
  • Tusharkati GhoshEmail author
Living reference work entry


The skinfold thickness in different locations like tricep, bicep, subscapular, suprailiac, and calf generally measures the subcutaneous fat deposition in the body. These skinfold parameters may be used to assess nutritional status in children as the subcutaneous fat deposition varies with the changes in nutritional status of children. Santals are backward tribal community of India, and in the present review the growth of the skinfold thickness of Santal children has been considered to evaluate the status of skinfold in undernutrition. Undernutrition does not affect the skinfold thickness in different locations uniformly, and the sensitivities of skinfold thickness of some locations are good markers (triceps skinfold, TRSF, and subscapular skinfold, SBSF), while others may not be changed with undernutrition (suprailiac skinfold, SPSF; biceps skinfold, BCSF; and calf skinfold, CSF). SBSF and TRSF were strongly associated with the nutritional status (HAZ) in Santal boys, whereas in Santal girls, TRSF appeared to be strong predictor to assess nutritional status. TRSF is a sensitive indicator of undernutrition in both the boys and girls, and SBSF is less sensitive to identify undernutrition in girls but not in boys. The triceps-for-age z-score (TAZ) appears to be better indicator of undernutrition than that of height-for-age z-score (HAZ) and weight-for-age z-score (WAZ) in Santal children. The growth and velocity of growth of different skinfold thickness in well-nourished Santal children was found to be changed in undernourished Santal boys and girls.


Santal Undernutrition Nutritional status Skinfold thickness Nutritional anthropometry Body fat Growth curve Body mass index Upper arm fat area 

List of Abbreviations


Biceps skinfold


Body mass index


Calf skinfold


Fat-free mass index


Height-for-age z-score


Mid-upper arm circumference


National Center for Health Statistics


National health and nutrition examination survey


Primitive Tribal Groups’


SBSF-for-age z-score


Subscapular skinfold


Suprailiac skinfold


Sum of triceps and subscapular skinfold


Sum of triceps and subscapular skinfold thickness-for-age z-score


TRSF-for-age z-score


Triceps skinfold


Upper arm fat area


Upper arm muscle area


Upper arm muscle area by height


Upper arm muscle circumference


World Health Organization


Weight-for-height z-score


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyBasirhat CollegeBasirhatIndia
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of CalcuttaKolkataIndia

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