Document Type



Sibling resemblance in fatness and subcutaneous fat distribution is addressed in a sample of healthy adolescents who belong to 122 nuclear families. Relative fatness and fat distribution were estimated using anthropometric measurements, bioelectric impedance, and ultrasound images. The patterns of fat distribution were defined by indexes constructed using combinations of subcutaneous fat measurements. Adjusted Z scores were used to analyze age- and sex-related changes on fatness and fat distribution. An analysis of variance was used to calculate the resemblance within and between families. The results show that there is significant family resemblance for the level of fatness. There is also significant resemblance between sibs of like sex for the fat distribution patterns. The results also show that subcutaneous fat thickness has a strong genetic component (60-65% of the variance) and that the patterns of fat distribution are apparent from early adolescence.