The 84th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2015)

Testing the cylindrical model for weight reconstruction - the effects of fat mass, lean mass, and body proportions


Archaeology, University of Oulu

March 26, 2015 , Gateway Ballroom 2 Add to calendar

The stature/bi-iliac breadth method (Ruff et al., 2005. J Hum Evol 48:381-392) provides reasonably precise body weight estimations for a broad range of human populations because this method is based on the cylindrical model of human body in which stature and bi-iliac breadth represent the cylinder height and breadth, respectively (Ruff 1994. Yrbk Phys Anthropol 37:65-107). Relative shoulder breadth (biacromial breadth / bi-iliac breadth) and the proportion of trunk length to limb length (represented by relative sitting height) have potential effects on estimation precision. Previous studies (Ruff 2000. Am J Phys Anthropol 113:507-517; Ruff et al., 2005. J Hum Evol 48:381-392) indicated that relative shoulder breadth has a significant effect on prediction error, but relative sitting height has only a slight effect. In this study, we test the effects of both body proportions, as well as lean body mass and fat mass (computed from skinfolds) on estimation precision using a large sample of Finnish males and females measured by the first author. We found that, in both sexes, relative sitting height has a significant effect on prediction error, but relative shoulder breadth is insignificant; lean mass (scaled against stature) has the most effect on prediction error, but fat mass (also scaled against stature) also affects prediction error more than body proportions in both sexes.

This research was funded by Alfred Kordelin Foundation.