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The study of anthropometric estimates in the visceral fat of healthy individuals

Chun-Hao Chen1, Yu-Yawn Chen2, Chih-Lin Chuang3, Li-Ming Chiang4, Shu-Min Chiao5 and Kuen-Chang Hsieh67*

Author Affiliations

1 Office of Physical Education, Tunghai University, Taichung City, Taiwan

2 Department of Physical Education, National Taiwan University of Physical Education and Sport, Taipei City, Taiwan

3 Department of Radiology, Jen-Ai Hospital, Taichung City, Taiwan

4 College of Health Science, Movement Activities and Lifetime Fitness Department, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301, USA

5 Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Tunghai University, Taichung City, Taiwan

6 Office of Physical Education and Sport, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung City, Taiwan

7 Research Center, Charder Electronic Co., LTD, No. 103, Guozhong Rd., Dail Dist., Taichung City, Taiwan

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Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:46  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-46

Published: 20 May 2014



Abdominal visceral fat affects the metabolic processes, and is an important risk factor for morbidity and mortality. The purpose of the study was to develop a quick and accurate estimate in the visceral fat area (VFA) of the L4-L5 vertebrae using anthropometric predictor variables that can be measured conveniently.


A total of 227 individuals participated in this study and were further divided into a Modeling group (MG) and a Validation group (VG). Anthropometrics measurements (height, weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, age, and subcutaneous fat thickness) and VFACT were measured using computer assisted tomography for all participants. Multivariate linear regression analysis was applied to the MG to construct a VFA estimator using anthropometric predictor variables and to evaluate its performance using the VG.


The estimate equation obtained from the MG were VFAANT = -144.66 + 1.84X1 + 1.35X2 + 0.52X3 (r = 0.92, SEE =14.58 cm2, P < 0.001, n = 152). The X1, X2, and X3 variables in the equation were denoted as waist circumference (WC), age, and abdomen subcutaneous fat thickness (AS). In addition, the correlation between VFAANT and VFACT showed a high correlation (r = 0.92).


A rapid and accurate VFA estimation can be achieved by using only age, WC, and AS. The approach in the present study provides an easy and reliable estimate that can be applied widely in health and epidemiology studies.

Computed tomography; Stepwise linear regression analysis; Subcutaneous fat thickness; Waist circumference; Waist-to-hip ratio