Previous studies have been done tracking individual changes in subcutaneous fat from childhood, but none of these studies has clearly examined the patterns of anatomical fat distribution. In addition, previous research has suggested that 20 to 30% of the variance in young adults is due to genetic influences. But again, there are few studies that have addressed the distribution of fat, particularly in children. The objective of this study was to examine whether there is a stronger genetic influence on an individual’s patterns of distribution of subcutaneous fat than on an individual’s overall fatness, as evidenced by 1) stronger age to age correlations, 2) stronger later age to previous age correlations and 3) stronger parent-child correlations for fat patterning as compared to the same correlations for overall fatness. A principal components analysis was used to construct components of body fat distribution, and the trunk-extremity and upper-lower body contrasts of skinfold sites appeared, as they have in previous studies. W hen the three sets of correlations described above were calculated for fat patterning and overall fatness, the only instance in which the correlations for fat patterning were consistently higher than those for overall fatness was for the self-correlations in girls. Parent-child correlations for fat patterning components vary more than those for overall fatness, and are generally higher between mothers and their children than between fathers and their children.
Kaplowitz, Haley J.; Wild, Karla Ann; Mueller, William H.; Decker, Michael; and Tanner, James M.
"Serial and Parent-Child Changes in Components of Body Fat Distribution and Fatness in Children from the London Longitudinal Growth Study, Ages Two to Eighteen Years,"
5, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol60/iss5/6