As shown for 6 pairs of skinfolds at 4 anatomical sites (triceps, subscapular, iliac and abdominal) followed over a 5-year period in 620 adult White men and women, relative thickness of body fat for pairs of skinfolds proves to be moderately stable over time and to a degree that greatly exceeds chance. While additive and subtractive sequential measuring errors and changes in body weight do set practical limits on the extent of replicability of residuals from the pair-specific regression lines, for some combinations of skinfolds up to 48-53% of adult individuals remain in the initial (entry) category as compared with 15-16% that would be expected by chance. In general, women prove to be more stable in relative skinfold thickness, seemingly consistent with their greater thickness of subcutaneous fat at most sites and the greater proportion of outer (i.e. subcutaneous) fat in them.
Garn, Stanley M.; Sullivan, Timothy V.; and Hawthorne, Victor M.
"Persistence of Relative Fatness at Different Body Sites,"
1, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol60/iss1/8