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BMI measures underestimate Asian body fat

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Body mass index measurements underestimate the body fat of South Asian children living in the UK, research from St George’s University of London, has shown.

The study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, measured the body fat of 5,758 children from different ethnic groups aged nine and 10 in London, Birmingham and Leicester.

They measured BMI, as well as skinfold thickness and fat mass, described as more direct measures of body fat content.

Average BMI was 2 per cent lower in South Asians compared with white Europeans, but average levels of skinfold thickness and fat mass were about 5 per cent and 6 per cent higher.


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