Recent Trends in Central Adiposity in the Fels Longitudinal Study

Brandon Gonzalez, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases. Recent reports from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) show an increasing prevalence of obesity as measured by body mass index (BMI) in United States adults. Though overweight and obesity rates in recent years are rising, trends in centralized adiposity are less well understood and remain to be elucidated. Utilizing waist circumference and trunk fat index as measurements for central adipose tissue, this study examined recent trends in central adiposity in adult males and females participating in the Fels Longitudinal Study. One thousand and one individuals (480 males and 521 females) had serial anthropometric and body composition data available between 1999 and 2017. In our cross-sectional analysis of longitudinal data, waist circumference was found to increase over the study period independent of changes in BMI. This effect was observed in females only. This phenomenon was not observed in males. There was no significant temporal trend observed for trunk fat index in males or females. When controlling for BMI and age, waist circumference increased in recent years in non-Hispanic white females aged 18–75 years participating in the Fels Longitudinal Study. Future work should longitudinally examine trends in the Fels Longitudinal Study and in different ethnic/racial and age groups using more accurate assessment tools such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and appropriate, sex-specific measures for central fat (e.g., subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT)) to determine the extent to which they vary.

Subject Area

Public health|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Gonzalez, Brandon, "Recent Trends in Central Adiposity in the Fels Longitudinal Study" (2018). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10928155.