Intergenerational changes in adiposity and fat distribution from 1982 to 2011 in male children and adolescents from Kolkata (India)

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Pediatric Obesity


Background: India, as a developing country, is subjected to numerous socioeconomic changes. They can significantly influence human development and be mirrored by the secular trends regarding the adiposity and body fat distribution. Objectives: The aim of the study was to examine the intergenerational changes of adiposity and body fat distribution in Bengali boys, between 1982 and 2011. Methods: The study group consisted of 2064 Bengali boys, aged 7–16, from the middle-class families, examined in two cross-sectional surveys in 1982–83 and 2005–2011. Triceps, biceps, subscapular and suprailiac skinfolds were measured. Their sum and the mean percentage of every skinfold were calculated. The percentage of body fat (%BF) was assessed using Slaughter's equations. Results: Positive secular trend, significant for most of the age groups, was observed for %BF and sum of skinfolds. It was also present for suprailiac and subscapular skinfolds. Conclusions: Adiposity has significantly changed over the past three decades. The results confirm that the measurements of skinfold thickness are a great tool to relatively easily and accurately assess body adiposity in countries such as India. Moreover, further analysis of these trends can help to identify possible negative changes as well as establish their causes in a particular population.



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