1 Nutrition School, Department of Health Sciences, Interamericana University, Panamá; 2 Fundación para la Investigación Nutricional y Desarrollo Integral Oportuno, La Chorrera, Panamá; 3 Research Centre, Academic Division of Health Sciences, Juarez Autonomous University of Tabasco, México; 4 Department of Nutrition, Ministry of Health, Panamá.
Background: obesity is the major risk factor for cardiovascular disease worldwide. Objective: to determine association between anthropometric measurements and physical activity with % of body fat (%BF). Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was conducted in 200 subjects (72.5% female) aged 18 to 57 years old. The data collection was performed from January to February 2014 in Panama City. %BF was obtained using bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Body mass index (BMI) was calculated from measured height and weight. Handgrip strength was obtained with a hydraulic dynamometer and physical activity with a validated questionnaire. Multivariate linear regression models were used to analyze the data. Results: mean ±SD of %BF was 31.5±8.4%; 34.5±6.9% for women and 23.7±6.6% for men (t-test, p<0.05). Mean ±SD of BMI was 25.1±4.6kg/m2; 24.5±4.5kg/m2 for women and 26.6±4.5kg/ m2 for men (t-test, p<0.05). Mean±SD of handgrip strength was 30.6±9.7kg; 26.0±5.2kg for women and 42.9±8.0kg for men (t-test, p<0.05). The proportion n(%) of low, moderate and high physical activity was: 105 (52.5%), 60(30%) and 35(17.5%), respectively. No difference by sex was observed in categories of physical activity (Chi2, p=NS). After adjustment for sex and age, a high BMI increase the %BF in (β coeff, CI95%) 1.4%(1.3 to 1.5); a high handgrip strength decrease %BF in -0.13%(-0.19 to -0.08); and practice moderate physical activity decrease %BF in -0.99%(-1.50 to -0.28). Conclusion: %BF was associated positively with BMI and negatively with the moderate level of physical activity and with high handgrip strength.