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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2003 March;56(1):11-7

language: Italian

The skinfold thickness analysis on 342 cyclists

Cellini M., Soldati A., Basile G., Speziale F., Brunelli D., Garulli A., Poletti G.

Centro di Medicina dello Sport, Azienda USL Bologna Sud, Casalecchio di Reno, Bologna


Anthropometry, a branch of anthropology, is the science which permits also to determine the nutritional state of a subject using measurements of anatomical regions (circumferences, diameters) and/or cutaneous folds. It is an economic, simple non-invasive method to carry out, and the instrumentation required can be easily moved. Therefore, it is particularly suitable for application on subjects who practice sports. By means of anthropometric methods, the exact body composition of an individual can be defined, and the overweight/underweight and obesity/leanness of a subject can be more precisely classified considering the percentages of fat varying from 13% to 18% (from 18% to 23% in females) of the total body weight in a normal subject. Despite the progress achieved in the past 20 years on alimentation and alimentary education, in which the athlete changed little by little from a predominantly protein diet to one containing more sugars, the current nutritional state of sportsman as well as the general public appears to be oriented toward a hypercaloric direction. The aim of this study was to determine, using skinfold thickness analysis, the nutritional state of 342 competitive cyclists observed at the Sports Medicine Center of the South Bologna Health Department in Casalecchio di Reno in the period from 1996 to 2001. At the same time, we tried to verify if the use of the Jackson-Pollock method is more appropriate than that of Durnin Rahaman.

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