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Anthropometric studies on African athletes who participated in the 1st African University Games

  • J. D. Watson (a1) and D. Y. Dako (a1)


1. Height, weight, skinfold thicknesses and mid-arm circumference were measured in 540 males and 117 females aged 20-24 years who took part in the 1st African University Games, held at the University of Ghana, Legon. Body fat content, Quetelet's index (weight ÷ height × 100; Khosla & Lowe (1967)) and mid-arm muscle circumference were derived from the measurements taken.

2. The physique or body-build of the subjects as assessed by Quetelet's index showed that both male and female subjects from the various countries were of medium body-build. The body fat content for males was between 10 and 12% with the exception of the Egyptians (12.8%) while that of females was between 23-24%.

3. Body measurements of the subjects compared favourably with that of international standards (WHO, 1966) with the exception of the triceps skinfold thickness which was only approximately 60% of the standard value.

4. The low values for triceps skinfold thickness are probably due to differences in the distribution of subcutaneous fat at different sites in the body as found between caucasian and non-caucasian population groups. The results are discussed in relation to the findings of other workers on ethnic differences in skinfold thickness.



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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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