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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;60(2):191-6.

Anthropometric body fat composition reference values in Spanish adolescents. The AVENA Study.

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EU Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain.



To determine reference values for body mass index (BMI), sum of six skinfolds (sigma6 skinfolds) and body fat percentage (BF%) in Spanish adolescents aged 13-18 years, included in the AVENA Study (Alimentación y Valoración del Estado Nutricional en Adolescentes: Food and Assessment of the Nutritional Status of Adolescents).


Multicentre cross-sectional study.


Representative sample of Spanish adolescents.


The population was selected by means of a multiplestep, simple random sampling. The final number of subjects included in the AVENA Study was 2859 adolescents; 2160 adolescents had a complete set of anthropometric measurements and were then included in this study (1109 males and 1051 females).


Weight, height and six skinfold thicknesses were measured. As indices of total adiposity, we calculated BMI, summation sigma6 skinfolds and BF% with the formulas described by Slaughter et al.


Sigma6 skinfolds and BF% in each age group were significantly higher in females than in males. In males, age showed a significant effect for BMI, sigma6 skinfolds and BF%; however, in females, the effect was only significant for BF%. The percentile distribution was more disperse towards higher sigma6 skinfolds and BF% values in males when compared with females.


The presented percentile values will help us to classify adolescents in comparison with a well-established reference population, and to estimate the proportion of adolescents with high or low adiposity amounts.


The AVENA-Study was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Health (FIS 00/0015), and grants from Panrico SA, Madaus SA and Procter and Gamble SA. This study was also supported by Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Spain), RCESP (C03/09) and Spanish Ministry of Education (AP2003-2128).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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