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Chronic disease
SP1-63 Evaluation of early body shape for epidemiological research in absence of objective measurements
  1. S Akarolo-Anthony1,
  2. C Adebamowo1
  1. 1Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2University of Maryland School of Medicine and Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA


Introduction Developing countries are undergoing epidemiological transitions with increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCD). The role of early life exposure in the aetiology of many NCD's particularly the role of body shape and size for given age is increasingly appreciated. However, many environments in resource-limited settings lack early life records of birth and growth so it is not possible to correlate early life characteristics with risk of disease in these populations. Our study evaluated the use of body images as an estimator of body size and characteristics.

Method 1058 workers at a government office in Nigeria were enrolled in a study of body size, dietary energy intake, physical activity and anthropometric characteristics.

Results The mean age (SD) of participants was 41.5 (9.3) years and mean BMI (SD) was 27.0 (4.9), mean waist (SD) =75.4 (26.8) cm, mean hip circumference (SD) =86.7 (33.1) cm, mean waist hip ratio (WHR) =0.88 (0.10) and mean weight (SD) =74.6 (14.2) kg. There was strong correlation between the interviewee perception of their current body type and that of the interviewer (r=0.73, p<0.001). Compared with anthropometric characteristics, the body images correlated most strongly with BMI (r=0.56, p<0.001) but less so with waist circumference (r=0.33), hip circumference (r=0.33), WHR (r=0.15).

Conclusions Our results suggest that participants perception of body image correlate well with BMI and can be used in epidemiological studies where availability of objective measures are limited.

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