Funding agencies: The source of support for this study was provided by grant (NIH-NIDDK-1RC1DK086881-01). A.E.S. is funded, in part, by an NIH NIDDK National Research Service Award (T32DK064584-08). P.T.K. is supported, in part, by the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority Endowed Chair in Nutrition
Ethnic and sex differences in visceral, subcutaneous, and total body fat in children and adolescents
Article first published online: 13 MAY 2013
Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society
Volume 21, Issue 6, pages 1251–1255, June 2013
How to Cite
Staiano, A. E., Broyles, S. T., Gupta, A. K. and Katzmarzyk, P. T. (2013), Ethnic and sex differences in visceral, subcutaneous, and total body fat in children and adolescents. Obesity, 21: 1251–1255. doi: 10.1002/oby.20210
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
- Issue published online: 26 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 13 MAY 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 29 NOV 2012 04:09PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Received: 3 FEB 2012
Objective: This study investigated ethnic and sex differences in the distribution of fat during childhood and adolescence.
Design and Methods: A cross-sectional sample (n = 382), aged 5–18 years, included African American males (n = 84), White males (n = 96), African American females (n = 118), and White females (n = 84). Measures for total body fat (TBF) mass and abdominal adipose tissue (total volume and L4-L5 cross-sectional area) for both subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) depots were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and magnetic resonance image, respectively. Analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs) were used to determine ethnic and sex differences in TBF (adjusted for age) and ethnic and sex differences in SAT and VAT (adjusted for both age and TBF).
Results: Age-adjusted TBF was greater in African Americans (P = 0.017) and females (P < 0.0001) compared with Whites and males, respectively. In age- and TBF-adjusted ANCOVAs, no differences were found in the SAT. The VAT volume was, however, greater in Whites (P < 0.0001) and males (P < 0.0001) compared with African Americans and females, respectively. Similar patterns were observed in SAT and VAT area at L4-L5.
Conclusions: The demonstrated ethnic and sex differences are important confounders in the prevalence of obesity and in the assignment of disease risk in children and adolescents.