Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 75, Issue 1–3, pp 65–77 | Cite as

Interrelationship of indices of body composition and zinc status in 11-yr-old New Zealand children

  • Rosalind S. Gibson
  • Murray Skeaff
  • Sheila Williams


Serum zinc and hair zinc concentrations of some New Zealand children aged 11 yr, were examined in relation to selected anthropometric indices. Serum zinc concentrations (n=453) in boys and girls were similar and were unrelated to anthropometric indices and hair zinc concentrations. Mean hair zinc concentration (n=620) of the girls was higher than that for the boys (2.95±0.49 vs 2.46±0.47 µmol/g; p<0.001). Correlation analysis demonstrated that, for the boys, all the studied anthropometric indices, with the exception of height, were significantly related to hair zinc concentration and that the confounding effects of mid-parent height and the timing of the adolescent growth spurt was small. Results for the girls were similar but less significant. Dichotomizing the hair zinc results divided both the boys and girls into two groups: those with hair zinc <2.44 µmol/g were heavier (girls, 39.0 vs 35.2 kg; boys, 36.6 vs 34.7 kg) and fatter (mid-upper-arm fat area: girls, 15.2 vs 12.0 cm2; boys, 11.1 vs 9.5 cm2) compared to their counterparts with hair zinc >2.44 µmol/g. The results demonstrate that in these healthy New Zealand children, those with lower hair zinc concentrations are fatter and heavier than their high-hair-zinc counterparts.

Index Entries

Body composition zinc children hair serum anthropometry 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosalind S. Gibson
    • 1
  • Murray Skeaff
    • 1
  • Sheila Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human NutritionUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Preventive and Social MedicineUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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