The objectives of this paper are to explore the potential of the ultrasound technique to quantify subcutaneous adipose tissue, and to explain the differences between skinfolds and ultrasound measurements across a large range of ages and levels of adiposity. The sample consisted of 115 men and 117 women aged 35 to 51 years, 132 girls and 145 boys aged 12 to 20 years.
Subcutaneous fat thickness was measured at four sites using skinfolds calipers, and at seven sites using a real-time B-mode ultrasound scanner. Anthropometric measurements were obtained, and percent body fat was estimated using electric impedance.
The agreement between skinfolds and ultrasound measurements was calculated for each age and sex group. The agreement between techniques, and the levels of correlation between body composition and fatness measurements were high in the sample of young men. However, the results were less consistent in the other groups. Site specific differences were also noted. © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc.