The purpose of the present cross-sectional study was to examine the relationship and effect of monthly household income, birth order, and number of siblings on adult body dimensions, adiposity index, and body composition among adult Bengali females. One hundred seventy-one adult Bengali females, age 20.35 ±1.51 years (mean ±SD; range: 18–21 years) from Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) were studied. Anthropometric measures (weight, height, waist circumference, hip circumference, and triceps, biceps, subscapular, suprailiac, and medial calf skinfold thicknesses) were taken from all participants using standard protocols. BMI and log10 of the sum of the five skinfold thicknesses were computed subsequently. Percentage of body fat was estimated from the triceps skinfold thickness following the equation of Durnin and Womersley (1974), and fat mass was then calculated. Results of the correlation analysis revealed that monthly household income had significant (p < 0.05) positive association with all anthropometric variables. Birth order and number of siblings showed significant (p <0.05) inverse association. The correlation of monthly household income with anthropometric variables was much stronger for number of siblings and birth order. The results of the analysis of variance showed that monthly household income, birth order, and number of siblings (tertiles used to categorize all variables) had significant effects (p <0.05) on anthropometric variables, indicating differences in adult body dimensions, the adiposity index, and body composition in relation to income, birth order, and number of siblings.
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Vol. 78 • No. 6