Racial differences in subcutaneous fat patterns in children aged 7–15 years

Authors

  • D. W. Harsha,

    1. Department of Medicine, Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, U.S.A.
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  • A. W. Voors,

    1. Department of Preventive Medicine, Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, U.S.A.
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  • M.D. G. S. Berenson

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine, Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, U.S.A.
    • Department of Medicine, LSU Medical Center, 1542 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
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Abstract

In a stratified random sample of 278 children aged 7–15 years of an entire biracial community, skinfold measurements were taken on six standard body sites. We found that white children had generally thicker skinfolds than blacks for the same body weight, with a consistent exception: the subscapular skinfold was relatively thicker in blacks. It is suggested that this racial difference in distribution of fat may manifest a genetic adaptive trait developed under circumstances demanding both a caloric reserve and facilitation of convective heat loss in tropical climates.

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