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Old 02-11-2012, 10:17 AM   #1
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Why not use calipers for the elderly or children?

Hey guys, this is kind of a homework question for a course I am taking. Basically, I was just wondering why we shouldn't use calipers/anthroptometry to measure body fat percentage in the elderly or young children. Is it because their skin isn't suitable for this method?

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Old 02-11-2012, 02:33 PM   #2
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Bruising?
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:20 PM   #3
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yeah but why specifically for the elderly and children? because I'm sure bruising would happen on adults as well if it wasn't done properly
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Old 02-11-2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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maybe because we don't need to measure their body fat?
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:26 PM   #5
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Why wouldn't you use it on children? I see no reason, doctors do it all the time...
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:41 PM   #6
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IIRC it's because the the areas you would take measurements from using the calipers don't change much during the early formative years and the later stages of life. I might be wrong your best bet is to do some more research.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:14 PM   #7
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well in elderly you generally lose adipose/subcutaneous tissue (fat) in their arms/legs whereas around their trunk it may increase...depends on their lifestyle, are they walking or are they in a wheelchair all day/use lifts to get transported?
i would assume that the calculation may not be a proper way to measure body fat percentage. i'm in nursing and i've never seen them whip out a caliper at a long term care facility, they use BMI for a more accurate reading. so probably i'd say the biggest reason would be the accuracy of the results.

i'd also like to point out that nowadays we're taking extra care towards the elderly because pressure ulcers are becoming more common. they start when adipose/fat tissue becomes separated from the muscle due to shearing/pinching/pressure. we do as much as we can to avoid these because once oxygenation to the tissues become disrupted, cells start dying. i've had to clean, pack and dress a stage X ulcer before and it's not something i would want anybody to suffer.

as for young children, i would guess maybe because they are growing rapidly it wouldn't be very accurate either? babies - small children have baby fat or in medical terms, brown adipose tissue. they need this because they don't have shivering reflexes/ability to generate heat with muscle activity like adults do.

Last edited by Ri2; 03-06-2012 at 05:21 PM.
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