The hypothesis that different skinfold sites reflect the nutri- tional environment with different sensitivity is tested in a sample of children and adults from rural Colombia of varying degrees of socio-economic status (SES). Multiple regression of four skinfold sites (triceps, subscapular, suprailiac and medial calf) on SES variables shows no significant differences in R2 by skinfold site except in women in which the R2 for the medial calf site ( = .26) was significantly larger than the corresponding R2 in men ( = .08). In children R2’s were slightly higher for trunk fat (.06 to . 15) than for extremity fat (.05 to .09). When skinfold means of the rural children are compared to those of high and low SES urban Colombian children, there are few differences except at the suprailiac site. Thus, in children of both sexes and men, trunk fat is slightly more sensitive to the environment than extremity fat, while in women lower extremity fat may reflect more the nutritional environment. In general, skinfolds appear to be poor indicators of the nutritional status of children with mild to moderate malnutrition. Greater differences in extremity fat thickness (triceps) than central fat (subscapular) between groups of widely differing nutritional status may be due to the confounding factor of genetic differences in the relative distribution of body fat.
Mueller, William H.
"Environmental Sensitivity of Different Skinfold Sites,"
4, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol58/iss4/5