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Representative body composition percentiles from bioelectrical impedance analyses among children and adolescents. The MoMo study

Schmidt, Steffen CE., Bosy-Westphal, Anja, Niessner, Claudia, Woll, Alexander
Clinical nutrition 2019 v.38 no.6 pp. 2712-2720
adolescents, bioelectrical impedance, boys, children, developed countries, electrodes, fat mass index, girls, lean body mass, normal values, obesity, puberty, Germany
With high prevalence of overweight and obesity in developed countries, the assessment of body composition in children and adolescents is of growing interest. The aim of this study was (i) to provide up-to-date population wide percentiles for meaningful diagnostic bioelectrical impedance outcome parameters and (ii) to specify reference values for these measures in a normal weight subpopulation.A representative nationwide sample of 4 to 24-year-old children and adolescents (n = 3593) was drawn out of 167 primary sample points across Germany from 2009 to 2012 (Motorik-Modul study wave 1). Fat free mass index (FFMI), fat mass index (FMI), body cell mass index (BCMI) and phase angle (PA) were derived from four electrodes 50 kHz bioelectrical impedance analyses. Sex-specific percentiles were calculated using the LMS-method for the total study population and a normal weight subsample (defined according to the international BMI-standard by Cole).Percentile curves for body composition parameters are similar between boys and girls until puberty. Subsequently, girls show a higher FMI than boys, and boys increase their FFM, BCM, and PA time-shifted, in that order. Differences in FMI between the overall and the normal weight sample increase with age, showing an age-dependent prevalence for overweight and obesity among the representative German sample.Results from the normal weight sample can be used as reference values to define a healthy body composition. Differences in body composition between the representative German sample and the normal weight subsample reveal a high prevalence of elevated fat mass in the population of children and adolescents living in Germany.