The purpose of this study was to develop a tool to predict the sum of triceps and subscapular skinfolds in children ages 10-18. In addition, school-based weight management programs were reviewed.

Skinfold calipers are often used to assess body fat percentage, particularly in non-clinical settings, test sites recommended by researchers are the triceps and The subscapular skinfolds. Recently, however, educators have reported two concerns about using skinfold calipers in the schools: (1) Specialized training and equipment are required, and (2) individuals must remove their clothing from selected test sites.

For schools where the use of calipers present problems, it seemed appropriate to develop an equation which would predict the sum of the triceps and subscapular skinfolds using data that could be obtained in a simple, non-invasive manner.

In 1984, the National Children and Youth Fitness Study (NCYFS) was conducted. The researchers collected anthropometric, physical performance and questionnaire data on 8,800 students from public and private schools. Because the sample design and the data collection techniques were superior and the data were current, information from the NCYFS was used in this investigation.

A prediction equation was developed using data from 8,723 subjects ages 10-18. Statistical analyses were used to determine which variables were best correlated with the sum of the triceps and subscapular skinfolds. Several equations were developed through the stepwise multiple regression procedure. The equations were crossvalidated on a random half of the sample to determine their generalizability to other groups. One equation in particular seemed to have promise for use by educators. This equation (number 8) had multiple correlations of .81 in males and .82 in females with the sum of skinfolds. For males, the sum of skinfolds (mm)=19.784 - 1.033 age - 0.871 height (in) + 0.061 weight (lbs) + 2.239 waist circumference (in). For females, the sum of skinfolds (mm)=42.340 - 0.057 age - 1.294 height (in) + 0.308 weight (lbs) + 1.179 waist circumference (in).

As an extension of this work, school-based weight management programs were reviewed to determine the effectiveness and feasibility of this approach.


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Joyce W. Hopp

Second Advisor

Jerry W. Lee

Third Advisor

David C. Nieman

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Skinfold Thickness -- in adolescence; Obesity -- prevention & control



Page Count

ix; 136

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives