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Anthropometric Information

Posted on March 08 2012

The measurement of body proportions, such as height, weight, etc., is what is referred to as the collection of anthropometric information. These figures help to develop nutrition and treatment plans based on normal and abnormal results. Characteristics such as ideal body weight and body mass index can help guide exercise, diet, and care plans for patients.

Ideal Body Weight is a commonly noted piece of anthropometric information that is calculated based on standard measurements collected through several studies. The calculation for ideal body weight accounts for the standard weight of a 5ft individual and assuming 5-6lbs per inch taller than 5ft. More clearly defined, the average weight for a 5ft male is 106lbs and 100lbs for a female. For each inch over 5ft, add 5lbs for a female and 6lbs for a male. Variance of 10% difference is included to account for frame size. This means that a female, 5'5" tall should weigh 112.5-137.5lbs. Fluctuation greater than 5% outside of ideal body weight signals a nutritional risk factor.

Another common piece of anthropometric information is Body Mass Index, frequently notated as BMI. This calculation considers the proportion of body fat in relation to lean body mass. Levels outside the normal ranges identify malnutrition or obesity depending on the direction of variance. A simple calculation of an individual's weight multiplied by 703 is then divided by the square of that person's height in inches. If this number is between 18.6 and 24.9, this is considered normal. Outside of these ranges may indicate the person is underweight (<18.5), overweight (25-29.9), or obese (>30).

Anthropometric information is not limited to height and weight, but rather proportions of the body including the appendages as well. For centuries, this information has been used to identify people and in many calculations and comparisons. This data is essential for effective nutrition, exercise, and treatment programs.

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