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Title: Determinants of body fatness : the prediction from childhood values of adult skinfold measurements, and the relative effects of heredity and of the environment on the determination of body fatness levels
Author: Hawk, Lorna J.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1979
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Abstract:
Between 1960 and 1961 anthropometric measurements, including skinfold thicknesses, were recorded on offspring aged 2 to 15 years in 330 families. Between 1976 and 1977 repeat skinfold measurements have been made on 318 (88%) of the male offspring and 303 (86%) of the female offspring, who now range in age from 17 to 30 years. Skinfold measurements were taken at the triceps, subscapular, suprailiac and biceps sites. The prediction from childhood values of adult individual skinfold measurements was found to vary from age to age in childhood and from site to site. No obvious pattern appeared and no one skinfold emerged as a more reliable predictor than any other. Where prediction was possible, the accuracies of the predictions were estimated to lie in 95% of cases between 13.1% and 24.2% in the males and between 10.6% and 26.2% in the females. Calculations were repeated using the four skinfold measurements combined. The prediction from childhood values of the adult combined measurements, while more consistent than for the individual skinfolds, continued to vary from age to age in childhood. Where prediction was possible, the accuracies of the predictions were estimated to lie in 95% of cases between 10.6% and 18.0% in the males and between 8.0% and 18.0% in the females. No greater relationship between childhood and adult skinfold measurements was found in the group selected with a childhood triceps or subscapular skinfold on or above the 75th centile. The overall correlations between childhood and adult fatness levels calculated from standardised scores, were 0.56 and 0.45 in the males and females respectively. It is concluded that there is a moderate relationship between fatness levels in childhood and in adult life; a relationship in which room is left to manoeuvre. This is also a family study in which resemblances in body fatness have been assessed between 186 fathers, 211 mothers, 378 sons and 372 daughters. Amongst the offspring were 206 twin pairs. No resemblances were found between parents and their offspring either as children or as adults. Mid-parent-offspring correlations were also not significant. In this study, parents and offspring at the time of measurement were not, largely, sharing common family environments. This suggests the common family environment to have been an important factor in determining resemblances previously noted between relatives. The adult monozygotic twins resembled one another closely, as had been the case in childhood. The adult dizygotic male twins tended to resemble one another more closely than had been the case in childhood. The adult dizygotic female twins, by contrast, did not resemble one another at all. The similarities and differences found between the twins mirrored the similarities and differences noted between their lifestyles and habits. That the resemblances found were largely environmentally determined was supported by the finding that while the twins resembled one another, they did not resemble their singleton brothers or sisters. The family data are considered to indicate the importance of environmental factors in the determination of body fatness levels.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.652238  DOI: Not available
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