Differences in segmental fat accumulation patterns by sex and ethnicity: An international approach.

Arden K Wong, Ketevan Asatiani, Emma Chávez-Manzanera,David J Elmer,Steven B Heymsfield,Sangmo Hong, Lilian Ilesanmi-Oyelere,Masaharu Kagawa, Sanja Klobucar,Omar A Obeid,Ronald C Plotnikoff,Luís B Sardinha,J McLean Sloughter,Analiza M Silva,Sarah P Shultz

Clinical obesity(2024)

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Abstract
Excess fat on the body impacts obesity-related co-morbidity risk; however, the location of fat stores affects the severity of these risks. The purpose of this study was to examine segmental fat accumulation patterns by sex and ethnicity using international datasets. An amalgamated and cross-calibrated dataset of dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-measured variables compiled segmental mass for bone mineral content (BMC), lean mass (LM), and fat mass (FM) for each participant; percentage of segment fat (PSF) was calculated as PSFsegment = (FMsegment/(BMCsegment + LMsegment + FMsegment)) × 100. A total of 30 587 adults (N = 16 490 females) from 13 datasets were included. A regression model was used to examine differences in regional fat mass and PSF. All populations followed the same segmental fat mass accumulation in the ascending order with statistical significance (arms < legs < trunk), except for Hispanic/Latinx males (arms < [legs = trunk]). Relative fat accumulation patterns differed between those with greater PSF in the appendages (Arab, Mexican, Asian, Black, American Caucasian, European Caucasian, and Australasian Caucasian females; Black males) and those with greater PSF in the trunk (Mexican, Asian, American Caucasian, European Caucasian, and Australasian Caucasian males). Greater absolute and relative fat accumulation in the trunk could place males of most ethnicities in this study at a higher risk of visceral fat deposition and associated co-morbidities.
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