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September 1957

Body Measurements and Human Nutrition.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(3):517. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260090173025

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This book gives the papers and comments of a conference held at Harvard University, in 1955, on the role of body measurements in the evaluation of human nutrition, under the editorship of Dr. Brozek, whose contributions to clinical anthropology have been notable. Perhaps the major fact which emerges from these studies is that the traditional height, weight, and sex information on which clinicians as well as members of the insurance business have judged obesity is an inaccurate guide. Much effort is given to an evaluation of the skin fat measurement by the caliper method and a critical discussion of the problem of specific gravity and density of the body in the evaluation of obesity. The practical upshot from a physician's viewpoint is that perhaps the simplest rough estimate of excess body fat in patients is whether or not one can pick up a large fold of blubber in the hands.

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