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Skinfold Thickness

"Skinfold Thickness" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus, MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure, which enables searching at various levels of specificity.

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The measurement of subcutaneous fat located directly beneath the skin by grasping a fold of skin and subcutaneous fat between the thumb and forefinger and pulling it away from the underlying muscle tissue. The thickness of the double layer of skin and subcutaneous tissue is then read with a caliper. The five most frequently measured sites are the upper arm, below the scapula, above the hip bone, the abdomen, and the thigh. Its application is the determination of relative fatness, of changes in physical conditioning programs, and of the percentage of body fat in desirable body weight. (From McArdle, et al., Exercise Physiology, 2d ed, p496-8)


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