|Van Loan, Marta|
Submitted to: Obesity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2006
Publication Date: 6/6/2007
Citation: Novotny, R., Going, S., Teegarden, D., Van Loan, M.D., Mccabe, G., Mccabe, L., Daida, Y., Boushey, C.J. Body size. composition and distribution of body fat among hispanic, white, and asian adolescents in the usa. 2007 Obesity Vol.15:1565-1570.
Interpretive Summary: Obesity is a major health epidemic in the US with overweight and obesity at epidemic proportions in children. A recent study was conducted across 6 locations throughout the US to examine the body fat and fat distribution in a group of 739 adolescent girls of Hispanic, white and Asian ancestry. The findings indicated that for the same, height, weight and physical maturity level Asian girls weight less, were shorter, had smaller waist circumference, longer truck and shorter legs than Hispanic or white girls. The Asian girls also had more lean mass and less fat than their corresponding Hispanic and white class mates. Distribution of fat on the upper or lower body is an indicator for risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease. The distribution of fat on this group of Hispanic, white and Asian girls suggests that risk for chronic disease may vary depending on one’s ethnicity.
Technical Abstract: Objective: To examine differences in body size, composition and distribution of body fat among Hispanic, White and Asian adolescents in the USA. Design: Data are derived from the baseline sample of the Adequate Calcium Today (ACT) trial. Subjects: Subjects included 180 Asian, 234 Hispanic and 325 White girls ages 11.8 + 0.05 y from Arizona, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Ohio and Nevada. Measurements: Anthropometric and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measurements (Lunar Prodigy) were standardized across all sites. Tanner pubertal stage was self-selected from line drawings. Physical activity was assessed by a validated questionnaire. Comparisons among ethnic groups were examined using contrasts in the context of a general linear model. Results: For the same weight, height and maturity level, Asians weighed less, were shorter, had shorter leg lengths, had smaller waist circumference but longer trunk lengths than Hispanic or Whites; Asians had more lean mass and less total and gynoid fat mass than Hispanics or Whites; Hispanics and Whites had more total body fat than Asians. However, Hispanics and Asians had greater DXA derived android/gynoid fat ratio than Whites. Significant variance (77%) in android/gynoid fat ratio was predicted by ethnicity, study site, bi-trochanteric width, waist circumference and physical activity. Conclusion: Asian adolescents have less total body fat than Hispanics or Whites, although they have more lean mass and longer trunks and carry the body fat in the android region. These ethnic differences in fat distribution may partially explain ethnic differences in risk for chronic diseases.