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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Dietary Guidelines Adherence and Healthy Body Weight Maintenance Title: Effect of clothing weight on body weight

Authors
item Whigham Grendell, Leah
item Schoeller, Dale -
item Johnson, Luann -
item Atkinson, Richard -

Submitted to: International Journal of Obesity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 3, 2012
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/56924
Citation: Whigham Grendell, L.D., Schoeller, D.A., Johnson, L.K., Atkinson, R.L. 2012. Effect of clothing weight on body weight. International Journal of Obesity. 37:160-161.

Interpretive Summary: In clinical settings, it is common to measure weight of clothed patients and estimate a correction for the weight of clothing, but there are no papers in the medical literature regarding the variability in clothing weight with weather, season, and gender. Fifty volunteers were weighed 4 times during a 12-month period with and without clothing. Differences in weights were determined and compared with minimum, maximum, and average daily outdoor temperature. The average clothing weight throughout the year was 0.8 kg for women and 1.2 kg for men. The minimum and maximum clothing weights across the year were 0.48 – 1.13 kg for women and 0.88 – 1.52 kg for men. Over a 55 degree Celsius range in outdoor temperatures, the typical clothing weight changed by only 0.4 kg in women and 0.6 kg in men. In summary, men’s clothing weight is slightly greater than women’s, but there is little variability throughout the year. Therefore, a clothing adjustment of approximately 0.8 kg for women and 1.2 kg for men is appropriate regardless of outdoor temperature.

Technical Abstract: Background: In clinical settings, it is common to measure weight of clothed patients and estimate a correction for the weight of clothing, but we can find no papers in the medical literature regarding the variability in clothing weight with weather, season, and gender. Methods: Fifty adults (35 women) were weighed 4 times during a 12-month period with and without clothing. Clothing weights were determined and regressed against minimum, maximum, and average daily outdoor temperature. Results: The average clothing weight (± SD) throughout the year was significantly greater in men than in women (1.2 ± 0.3 kg vs 0.8 ± 0.3 kg, p < 0.0001). The average within-person minimum and the average within-person maximum clothing weights across the year were 0.9 ± 0.2 and 1.5 ± 0.4 kg for men; and 0.5 ± 0.2 and 1.1 ± 0.4 kg for women, respectively. The within-person standard deviation in clothing weight was 0.3 kg for both men and women. Over the 55° C range in lowest to highest outdoor temperatures, the regressions predicted a maximal change in clothing weight of only 0.4 kg in women and 0.6 kg in men. Conclusion: Men’s clothing weight is significantly greater than women’s, but there is little variability throughout the year. Therefore, a clothing adjustment of approximately 0.8 kg for women and 1.2 kg for men is appropriate regardless of outdoor temperature.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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