Classification of excess weight and obesity using skinfolds in female university students from Slovenia


  • Dorjana Zerbo Šporin


skinfold thickness, body fat, factor analysis, young adult, females


This study investigates the relationship between the adipose factor defined by the skinfolds and body composition of female students from the University of Ljubljana. The purpose was purpose to test a simple technique to identify obese subjects using skinfolds. We anthropometrically examined 169 participants and determined their percent of body fat (%BF) by BIA. Principal component analysis (PCA) was utilized to extract the obesity factor (FF), resulting from five skinfolds. The distribution of the FF scores was divided into under-fat (FatU), normal-fat (FatN) and overweight or obese (FatO) categories using the lower and the upper bound (1.56 in 2.04) for central 95% of data. The new model was validated through testing fat categories for anthropometric indicators of obesity; %BF, waist circumference (WC) and BMI. The emerged FF as: 0.89·subscapular skinfold + 0.90·suprailiac skinfold + 0.86·abdominal skinfold + 0.86·triceps skinfold + 0.78·calf skinfold was expressed in logarithm. Most of the participants (158) were included in the normal-fat group, 5 were declared as under-fat and 6 as overweight or obese. BMI was increasing (F = 6.12; p <0.01) from FatU to FatO and was positively correlated (r=0.2; p˂0.05) to FF. No relationship was found between FF and %BF. There are indications the FF in female students could be associated with an inappropriate body weight for a given height but is not applicable to determine %BF.