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Indian Pediatr. 2017 Dec 15;54(12):1005-1011. Epub 2017 Sep 26.

Reference Centile Curves for Body Fat Percentage, Fat-free Mass, Muscle Mass and Bone Mass Measured by Bioelectrical Impedance in Asian Indian Children and Adolescents.

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Departments of Pediatrics, Hirabai Cowasji Jehangir Medical Research Institute, Jehangir Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra and *Inamdar Hospitals, Pune, Maharashtra; and #Department of Biotechnology, Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University, Patan, Gujarat, India. Correspondence to: Dr Anuradha Khadilkar, Deputy Director, Hirabai Cowasji Jehangir Medical Research Institute, Jehangir Hospital, 32, Sassoon Road, Pune, Maharashtra, 411 001, India.



To create gender-specific percentile curves for percent body fat (%BF) by Bio electrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) for screening adiposity and risk of hypertension in Indian children and generate reference curves for percent fat-free mass (%FFM), muscle mass (%LM) and bone mineral content (BMC) by using bioelectrical impedance.


Secondary analysis of data from previous multicenter cross-sectional studies.


Private schools from five regions of India.


A random sample of 3850 healthy school children (2067 boys) (5-17 yr) from private schools in five major Indian cities.


Anthropometry, blood pressure (BP) and body composition were measured by bioelectrical impedance. Reference curves were generated by the LMS method.


%BF, %FFM, %LM, BMC and BP.


Median %BF increased by 6% from 5 to 13 years of age and declined (around 2%) up to 17 years in boys. In girls, %BF increased by 8% from 5 to 14 years and thereafter declined by 3%. Based upon the risk of hypertension, the new cut-offs of 75th and 85th percentile of %BF were proposed for detecting over fatness and excess fatness in children. Median %FFM was 90% at 5 yrs and decreased till 12 years, and then showed a slight increase to 84% at 17 yrs in boys. In girls, it was 86% at 5 yrs and decreased till 15 yrs, and plateaued at 71.8% at 17 yrs.


Reference curves for percent body fat for Indian children would be useful to screen children for health risk in clinical set up.

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