Influence of Age, Ethnicity and Sex on Body Composition Thresholds for the Accumulation of Visceral Adipose Tissue in Adults
American Journal of Sports Science
Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2019, Pages: 111-120
Received: Jun. 26, 2019; Accepted: Aug. 4, 2019; Published: Aug. 23, 2019
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Rachel Marie Watson, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, USA
Philip Ray Stanforth, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, USA
Anna Elizabeth Talley, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, USA
Matthew Alan Stults-Kolehmainen, Bariatric Surgery Program, Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, USA; Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, USA
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of age, ethnicity, and sex on the body fat percentage (BF%) threshold, the point above which visceral adipose tissue (VAT) increases more rapidly. Participants were 1,756 females and 1,455 males, 18-75 years of age, who had a dual X-ray absorptiometry scan. Using segmented linear regression models for each sex and ethnicity category, the BF% thresholds were identified. The BF% thresholds for females were: Asian 29.2%, Black 35.6%, Hispanic 31.7%, and White 34.2%. For males, they were: Asian 25.3%, Black 23.9%, Hispanic 24.3%, and White 22.8%. Post-threshold, the impact of BF% was amplified for older females (β = 0.28, SE =0.03, p < .001) and males (β = 0.81, SE = 0.06, p < .001). BF% had a weaker association with VAT mass for Black compared to White females (β = -3.05, SE = 1.44, p < .05) and Asian compared to White males (β = -11.40, SE = 2.30, p < .001). The BF% threshold was higher in females and varied more with ethnicity in females. Post-threshold the association of BF% with VAT differed by age and ethnicity, although the influence of ethnicity was different in females than males.
Abdominal Obesity, Adiposity, DXA, Obesity
To cite this article
Rachel Marie Watson, Philip Ray Stanforth, Anna Elizabeth Talley, Matthew Alan Stults-Kolehmainen, Influence of Age, Ethnicity and Sex on Body Composition Thresholds for the Accumulation of Visceral Adipose Tissue in Adults, American Journal of Sports Science. Vol. 7, No. 3, 2019, pp. 111-120. doi: 10.11648/j.ajss.20190703.15
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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