Simple anthropometrics are more correlated with health variables than are estimates of body composition in Yup'ik people

Maria Bray, Jeremy Pomeroy, William C. Knowler, Andrea Bersamin, Scarlett Hopkins, Soren Brage, Kimber Stanhope, Peter J. Havel, Bert B. Boyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives To (1) evaluate the relationships between several indices of obesity with obesity-related risk factors; (2) compare the accuracy of body composition estimates derived from anthropometry and bioimpedance analysis (BIA) to estimates of body composition assessed by doubly-labeled water (DLW); and (3) establish equations for estimating fat mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM), and percent body fat (PBF) in Yup'ik people. Design and Methods Participants included 1,056 adult Yup'ik people from 11 communities in Southwestern Alaska. In a sub-study of 30 participants, we developed population-specific linear regression models for estimating FM, FFM, and PBF from anthropometrics, age, sex, and BIA against criterion measures derived from total body water assessed with DLW. These models were then used with the population cohort and we analyzed the relationships between obesity indices and several health-related and disease status variables: (1) fasting plasma lipids, (2) glucose, (3) HbA1c, (4) adiponectin, (5) blood pressure, (6) diabetes (DM), and (7) cerebrocoronary vascular disease (CCVD) which includes stroke and heart disease. Results The best model for estimating FM in the sub-study used only three variables - sex, waist circumference (WC), and hip circumference and had multiple R2 = 0.9730. FFM and PBF were calculated from FM and body weight. Conclusion WC and other anthropometrics were more highly correlated with a number of obesity-related risk factors than were direct estimates of body composition. Body composition in Yup'ik people can be accurately estimated from simple anthropometrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E435-E438
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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