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Standards for total body fat and fat-free mass in infants.
  1. N C de Bruin,
  2. K A van Velthoven,
  3. M de Ridder,
  4. T Stijnen,
  5. R E Juttmann,
  6. H J Degenhart,
  7. H K Visser
  1. Department of Paediatrics/Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam, Netherlands.


    Data on body composition in conjunction with reference centiles are helpful in identifying the severity of growth and nutritional disorders in infancy and for evaluating the adequacy of treatment given during this important period of rapid growth. Total body fat (TBF) and fat-free mass (FFM) were estimated from total body electrical conductivity (TBEC) measurements in 423 healthy term Caucasian infants, aged 14-379 days. Cross sectional age, weight, and length related centile standards are presented for TBF and FFM. Centiles were calculated using Altman's method, based on polynomial regression and modelling of the residual variation. The TBF percentage steeply increased during the first half year of life, and slowly declined beyond this age. Various simple TBEC derived anthropometric prediction equations for TBF and FFM are available to be used in conjunction with these standards. Regression equations for the P50 and the residual SD, depending on age, weight, or length, are provided for constructing centile charts and calculating standard deviation scores.

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