Background Childhood obesity shows a worldwide rapid increase in prevalence.
Objective To evaluate different methods of differentiating normal and high total body fat in large numbers of six- and seven-year-old children.
Methods In 17 boys and 13 girls, 6–7 years, body fat was assessed using isotope dilution and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). These reference methods were compared to skinfold thicknesses (ST) at five sites, bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), body mass index (BMI) and equations which calculate total body fat.
Results Children had a mean BMI of 16.01 kg/m2 (range 13.51–20.32), five children were overweight. Correlation between isotope dilution and DEXA 0.902. Pearson correlation coefficients between all methods (table 1).
Conclusion Total body fat estimated using the Goran as well as the Deurenberg equation are the best non-invasive methods to detect total body fat in six- and seven-year-old children.