Use of Upper Arm Anthropometry as an Indicator of Nutritional Status and Body Composition among Children

To provide useful estimations of body composition and nutritional status the upper arm anthropometry has a potential role. This cross-sectional study were to assess body composition and nutritional status of rural school-going children using upper arm anthropometric measures such as upper arm muscle area-by-height (UAMAH) and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) for-height. The present cross-sectional study was conducted among 834 children of Assam, North East India (boys 395, girls 439) aged 6-12 years and selected using a stratified random sampling method. Height, weight, MUAC and triceps skinfold (TSF) were recorded. Body composition and nutritional status were assessed using upper arm muscle area (UMA), upper arm fat area (UFA), UAMAH and MUAC-for height. Overall adiposity in context to age-sex-specific in TSF, UFA, arm fat index and upper-arm fat area estimates were higher among girls than boys (p<0.01), but upper-arm muscle area estimates (UME) were observed to be higher among boys than girls (p<0.05). Low prevalence of undernutrition was found among boys and girls using UAMAH, (0.00%) and (10.25%) respectively. The overall prevalence of low MUAC-for height was higher among boys (70.63%) than girls (61.05%) (p>0.05). Findings of the present study are important in providing more insight for future studies in the field and large epidemiological settings.