Waist circumference (WC) is an accepted measure of adipose tissue distribution.
There are 4 body sites commonly for measuring WC:
- immediately below the lowest ribs (WC1)
- the narrowest waist (WC2)
- the midpoint between the lowest rib and the iliac crest (WC3)
- and immediately above the iliac crest (WC4).
In this study, published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers compared the magnitude and reliability of WC measured at these 4 sites in males and females.
The team measured WC at each site all subjects (49 males and 62 females, aged 7 to 83 years), and 3 times in a subgroup (n = 93) by 1 experienced observer using a heavy-duty inelastic tape.
Body fat was also measured in a subgroup (n = 74) with the use of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.
|Waist circumference measurement reproducibility was high.|
|American Journal of Clinical Nutrition|
The research team found that the mean values of WC were WC2 < WC1 < WC3 < WC4 in females, and WC2 < WC1, WC3, and WC4 in males.
They determined that for all 4 sites, measurement reproducibility was high, with intraclass correlation (r) values > 0.99.
Furthermore, WC values were significantly correlated with fatness. However, the correlations with trunk fat were higher than correlations with total body fat in both sexes.
Dr Jack Wang's team concluded, "WC values at the 4 commonly used anatomic sites differ in magnitude depending on sex, are highly reproducible, and are correlated with total body and trunk adiposity in a sex-dependent manner".
"These observations have implications for the use of WC measurements in clinical practice and patient-oriented research."