Given the high prevalence of malnutrition and potential impact nutritional status can have on a child undergoing treatment for cancer, it is vital that oncology centers regularly assess nutritional status. It is important that simple noninvasive anthropometric nutrition assessment measures correlate to more accurate body composition measures.
The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between anthropometric measures and percent body fat determined via air displacement plethysmography in the children being treated in a pediatric oncology and hematology department.
This cross-sectional study measured height, weight, percent ideal body weight (%IBW), mid arm circumference, triceps skinfolds, and mid upper arm fat area in 23 children. These anthropometric variables were compared against the reference measure of percent body fat via air displacement plethysmography.
Correlational analysis and general linear models showed that there was a significant statistical relationship between percent body fat and body mass index Z score, %IBW, mid arm circumference, triceps skinfolds, and arm fat area.
Simple anthropometric measurements of %IBW and triceps skinfolds are good indicators of percent body fat and should be incorporated into regular nutrition assessment of the pediatric oncology patient.