UAE population reference standard charts for body mass index and skinfold thickness, at ages 018 years

Yousef M. Abdulrazzaq, Nico Nagelkerke, Mohamed A. Moussa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Aims To determine a range of anthropometric measurements including skinfold thickness measurements in four different areas of the body, to construct population growth charts for body mass index (BMI), skinfolds, and to compare these with growth charts from other countries. One aim was also to validate body fat charts derived from skinfold thickness.Methods A national cross-sectional growth survey of children, 018 years old, was conducted using multistage stratified random sampling. The sample size included at least 200 children in each agesex group. Height, weight, biceps skinfold, triceps skinfold, subscapular skinfold, suprailiac skinfold, and mid-upper-arm circumference were measured in each child. We describe correlation, standard deviation scores relative to the other standards, and calculation of body density in the United Arab Emirates population. We determined whether any of the above is a good indicator of fatness in children.Results BMI, upper-arm circumference, sum of four skinfolds, and percentage body fat charts were constructed using the LMS method of smoothing. BMI was very significantly correlated with sum of skinfold thicknesses, and mid-upper-arm circumference. Prevalence of obesity and overweight in ages 1317 years was respectively 9.94% and 15.16% in females and 6.08% and 14.16% in males. Derived body fat charts were found not to be accurateConclusion A national BMI, upper-arm circumference, and sum of four skinfolds chart has been constructed that can be used as a reference standard for the United Arab Emirates. Sum of four skinfold thickness charts can be used as crude determinants of adiposity in children, but derived body fat charts were shown to be inaccurate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-702
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Body mass index
  • United Arab Emirates
  • body fat
  • growth charts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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