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Elisa Marques, Joana Carvalho, Andreia Pizarro, Flávia Wanderlay and Jorge Mota

We examined the relationship among objective measures of body composition, lower extremity strength, physical activity, and walking performance and determined whether this interaction differed according to walking ability. Participants were 126 adults ages 60–91 yr. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that the 30-s chair stand test (30sCST), appendicular lean mass index (aLMI), body mass index, and age were independent contributors to walking performance, explaining 44.3% of the variance. For slower walkers, appendicular fat mass index (aFMI), moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), 30sCST, and aLMI (r 2 = .49, p < .001) largely explained variance in walking performance. For faster walkers, aFMI and aLMI explained 31.4% (p < .001) of the variance. These data suggest that both fat and lean mass are associated with walking performance in higher- and lower-functioning older adults, whereas MPVA and muscle strength influence walking ability only among lower-functioning older adults.

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Mollie G. DeLozier, Richard G. Israel, Kevin F. O’Brien, Robert A. Shaw and Walter J. Pories

This investigation quantified body composition and aerobic capacity and examined the interrelationships of these measures in 20 morbidly obese females (M age = 34.6 yrs) prior to gastric bypass surgery. Fifteen subjects were hydrostatically weighed at residual lung volume in order to determine body composition. Eighteen subjects performed a maximal modified progressive treadmill test to determine aerobic capacity. Results indicated that the 15 subjects who were weighed hydrostatically were heavier (M wt = 132.34 kg) and fatter (M % fat = 53.18) than any previously described individuals. Relative weight, which is used as a criterion to determine surgery eligibility, was not significantly (p > .05) correlated to percent body fat. Mean aerobic capacity (V̇O2 = 14.99 ml • kg-1 mir-1) was comparable to Class III cardiac patients and was limited by the individuals’ extreme body weight. Since relative weight was shown to be an insensitive measure of obesity, it is recommended that percent fat be measured and used as a means to determine eligibility for gastric bypass surgery. Further study of these individuals is warranted in order to determine what effects large weight loss following surgery will have on parameters of body composition and aerobic capacity. Understanding how large weight loss affects these parameters will aid in designing effective postsurgical exercise rehabilitative programs for future patients.

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Paula Charest-Lilly, Claudine Sherrill and Joel Rosentswieg

The purpose of this study was to examine the estimated body composition values of women hospitalized for treatment of anorexia nervosa in relation to values reported in the literature for women without known dietary problems. Sixteen volunteers between the ages of 16 and 37 years from hospitals in California and Texas participated in the study. Data collected included height, weight, and selected skinfold and circumference measures. Statistical analyses included independent and paired t tests. Significant differences were found between the percent body fat of anorexic subjects (M = 15.54%) and that of normative women in the Jackson, Pollock, and Ward (1980) study (M = 24.09%). When the actual weight of the anorexic subjects (M = 99.3 lb) was compared with their theoretical minimal weight calculated by the Behnke (1969) formula (M = 106.5 lb), no significant difference was obtained. A comparison of somatogram data for the anorexic women and the reference woman found significant differences at 5 of the 11 sites measured.

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Francis X. Short and Joseph P. Winnick

This manuscript examines the validity and reliability of the tests used to measure body composition in the Brockport Physical Fitness Test. More specifically, information is provided on skinfold measures and body mass index and their applicability to youngsters with mental retardation and mild limitations in fitness, visual impairment (blindness), cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, or congenital anomalies or amputations. The rationale for criterion-referenced standards for these test items for youngsters with these disabilities is provided along with some data on attainability of those standards. Possible ideas for future research are recommended.

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Manny Felix, Jeff McCubbin and Janet Shaw

Many women with mild to moderate mental retardation (MMR) exhibit low levels of physical activity, muscle strength, and muscle mass, which place these individuals at risk for osteoporosis. Bone mineral density (BMD), the primary index of osteoporosis, of the femoral neck and the whole body was measured in premenopausal women with (M age = 28.14 ± 8.43) and without (M age = 29.64 ± 10.86) mental retardation (MMR and NMR, respectively). Multivariate analyses revealed no differences (p > .05) between groups (MMR = 16, NMR = 16) for BMD values. Significant differences existed (p < .05) between groups on body composition and muscle strength variables. In the MMR group, significant positive relationships (p < .05) were found between lean muscle mass and both femoral neck (r = .74) and whole body (r = .81) BMD. Unaccounted lifestyle factors may have contributed to nonsignificant BMD values between groups.

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Phillip C. Usera, John T. Foley and Joonkoo Yun

The purpose of this study was to cross-validate skinfold and anthropometric measurements for individuals with Down syndrome (DS). Estimated body fat of 14 individuals with DS and 13 individuals without DS was compared between criterion measurement (BOP POD®) and three prediction equations. Correlations between criterion and field-based tests for non-DS group and DS groups ranged from .81 – .94 and .11 – .54, respectively. Root-Mean-Squared-Error was employed to examine the amount of error on the field-based measurements. A MANOVA indicated significant differences in accuracy between groups for Jackson’s equation and Lohman’s equation. Based on the results, efforts should now be directed toward developing new equations that can assess the body composition of individuals with DS in a clinically feasible way.

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Tanja Hechler, Elizabeth Rieger, Stephen Touyz, Pierre Beumont, Guy Plasqui and Klaas Westerterp

The study aimed to compare differences in physical activity, the relationship between physical activity and body composition, and seasonal variation in physical activity in outpatients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and healthy controls. Physical activity (CM-AMT) and time spent in different intensities of 10 female individuals with AN and 15 female controls was assessed across three seasons along with the percentage body fat. The two groups did not differ in their physical activity and both demonstrated seasonal variation. The percentage body fat of individuals with AN, but not that of the controls, was negatively related to CM-AMT and time spent in low-moderate intesnity acitivy (LMI). Seasonal variation in physical activity emerged with increases in engagement in LMI during the summer period for both groups. Possible interpretations of the finding that decreased physical activity was related to a normalization of percentage body fat in the individuals with AN are discussed and implications for treatment are highlighted.

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Kenneth H. Pitetti, Daniel A. Yarmer and Bo Fernhall

The purpose of this study was to compare the aerobic fitness and body mass index (BMI) of children and adolescents (8-18 yr) with and without mild mental retardation (MR). Sample size of participants with MR but without Down syndrome was 169 males and 99 females. Sample size of participants without MR was 289 males and 317 females. Analysis was made by gender and age: children (8-10 yr); early adolescents (11-14 yr); and late adolescents (15-18 yr). The 20-m shuttle run test (20 MST) was used to assess field test performance and predicted aerobic fitness. For all age groups, females and males without MR ran significantly more laps and had a significantly higher predicted aerobic fitness (V̇O2peak: ml $$ kg-1 $$ min-1) than their peers with MR. Additionally, participants with MR tended to have higher BMI than their peers without MR. The results of this study indicate that children and adolescents with MR have lower exercise capacity, lower aerobic fitness, and higher BMIs than their peers without MR.

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Alison Schinkel-Ivy, Timothy A. Burkhart and David M. Andrews

To date, there has not been a direct examination of the effect that tissue composition (lean mass/muscle, fat mass, bone mineral content) differences between males and females has on how the tibia responds to impacts similar to those seen during running. To evaluate this, controlled heel impacts were imparted to 36 participants (6 M and 6 F in each of low, medium and high percent body fat [BF] groups) using a human pendulum. A skin-mounted accelerometer medial to the tibial tuberosity was used to determine the tibial response parameters (peak acceleration, acceleration slope and time to peak acceleration). There were no consistent effects of BF or specific tissue masses on the un-normalized tibial response parameters. However, females experienced 25% greater peak acceleration than males. When normalized to lean mass, wobbling mass, and bone mineral content, females experienced 50%, 62% and 70% greater peak acceleration, respectively, per gram of tissue than males. Higher magnitudes of lean mass and bone mass significantly contributed to decreased acceleration responses in general.

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Michael R. Esco, Brett S. Nickerson, Sara C. Bicard, Angela R. Russell and Phillip A. Bishop

The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate measurements of body-fat percentage (BF%) in 4 body-mass-index- (BMI) -based equations and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in individuals with Down syndrome (DS). Ten male and 10 female adults with DS volunteered for this study. Four regression equations for estimating BF% based on BMI previously developed by Deurenberg et al. (DEBMI-BF%), Gallagher et al. (GABMI-BF%), Womersley & Durnin (WOBMI-BF%), and Jackson et al. (JABMI-BF%) were compared with DXA. There was no significant difference (p = .659) in mean BF% values between JABMI-BF% (BF% = 40.80% ± 6.3%) and DXA (39.90% ± 11.1%), while DEBMI-BF% (34.40% ± 9.0%), WOBMI-BF% (35.10% ± 9.4%), and GABMI-BF% (35.10% ± 9.4%) were significantly (p < .001) lower. The limits of agreement (1.96 SD of the constant error) varied from 9.80% to 16.20%. Therefore, BMI-based BF% equations should not be used in individuals with DS.