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Anthropometric Measurements

Anthropometric measurements include body weight, height, percentage of body fat, and body mass index (BMI), which is the weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared (BMI= kg/m2) [1]. Excess body fat contributes to increased morbidity and mortality and BMI values can help motivate the candidate to change diet and lifestyle habits. Waist circumference can be useful in evaluating the success of weight loss treatments and is a better predictor of disease risk than BMI for persons of Asian descent and in the elderly for estimating obesity-related disease risk [1, p. 189].

Interest in body composition data has increased in the past decade due to the rising level of obesity. Estimating fat and protein reserves is an important aspect of the nutrition assessment. Various methods are available for estimating body fat and muscle mass—skin fold measurements, underwater weighing, air displacement plethysmography, and electrical impedance [1, pp. 204-210]. A general guide to BMI levels is as follows:

<20—potential for nutritional deficiencies

  • 20-26—desirable
  • 27-29—moderately overweight


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