The purpose of this study is to compare the relation of skinfold thickness measures to body density in Black and White young men. Body density determined by underwater weighing, and selected anthropometric variables were measured on a sample of 319 males, 140 Blacks and 179 Whites, aged 18 to 32 yrs. Mean measured body density was significantly higher (p < .05) in Blacks (1.075 gm/cc) than in Whites (1.065 gm/cc), but the mean sum of 7 skinfolds was not significantly different (79.3 vs 88.0 mm, respectively). When body density was predicted from sum of 7 skin- folds, sum of 7 skinfolds squared and age in the total group, measured body density was significantly underpredicted in Blacks by an average of 0.004 gm/cc, whereas measured body density was overpredicted in Whites by 0.003 gm/cc, indicating that the measured body density corresponding to a given skinfold sum and age averaged 0.007 gm/cc higher in Blacks than in Whites. Addition of an independent dummy variable denoting Black or White increased the R significantly (p < .05) from .862 to .896, and decreased the SEE from 0.0072 to 0.0063 gm/cc. The effect of race (Black vs White) was not accounted for by differences in somatotype. The results indicate that the relation of skinfolds to body density is different in Black and White men. To obtain accurate estimates of body density from skinfolds in Blacks, equations developed on Blacks, or Blacks and Whites (including race as an independent variables) should be utilized. If the different relation of skinfolds to body density in Black and White men is due to variation in the composition of the fat-free body, the data also suggest a need to use an alternate equation for estimating % fat from measured body density in Black men.
Vickery, Susan R.; Cureton, Kirk J.; and Collins, Mitchell A.
"Prediction of Body Density from Skinfolds in Black and White Young Men,"
1, Article 15.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol60/iss1/15