Fat and fat-free mass in Nepalese children: an assessment of nutritional status.

Research paper by Arijit A Ghosh, Shalini S Choudhary, Sutanu Dutta SD Chowdhury, Tusharkanti T Ghosh

Indexed on: 15 Jul '09Published on: 15 Jul '09Published in: European Journal of Pediatrics


The aims of the present study were to determine the body composition and to assess the nutritional status on the basis of body composition parameters in Nepalese children. Body fat percentage (BF%), fat mass (FM), and fat-free mass (FFM) of 1,988 (1,016 boys and 972 girls) Nepalese children aged 6 to 10 years were calculated from triceps and subscapular skinfolds. FM and FFM were then divided by height-squared in meter to determine the fat mass index (FMI) and fat-free mass index (FFMI), respectively. Growth curves of BF% and FFM for Nepalese children remained at a low level compared to international data. BF%, FM, and FMI of Nepalese girls were significantly (p < 0.001) higher than Nepalese boys, whereas FFM and FFMI of Nepalese boys were significantly (p < 0.001) higher than Nepalese girls of all age groups. BF%, FM, and FFM were significantly correlated with almost all anthropometric parameters in both sexes. Growth curves of BF% and FFM showed that the undernutrition prevailed in Nepalese children. BF% and FFM were good indicators for measuring nutritional status in Nepalese children. Sexual dimorphism of fat patterning was present in Nepalese children.