Background and aim Children with cerebral palsy (CP) have higher risk for malnutrition and poor growth; however, it is difficult to assess nutritional status. The aim was to assess body fat percentage based on anthropometric measurements and compare it with direct measurement of percentage body fat with dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in children with CP.
Methods Forty-seven children (age range: 8–18 years; 18 girls) with CP participated and had their body fat percentage measured using DXA. Body fat percentages were estimated from triceps and subscapular skinfolds using standard (Slaughter et al.) and CP-specific equations (Gurka et al.). Differences and agreement between DXA and skinfold body fat percentage were analysed by comparing mean differences by Bland-Altman plots.
Result The CP-specific equations (r = 0.883) and the standard equations (r = 0.819) had excellent correlation coefficient with DXA fat percent. The standard equations underestimated body fat percent (mean difference: -7.1%) measured by DXA (Figure 1). In contrast, the mean difference between fat percent calculated by the CP-specific equations and by DXA differed marginally (+ 1.4%) (Figure 2).