Next Article in Journal
Relative Association of Multi-Level Supportive Environments on Poor Health among Older Adults
Previous Article in Journal
Regretting Ever Starting to Smoke: Results from a 2014 National Survey
Article Menu
Issue 4 (April) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(4), 391;

Association between Indices of Body Composition and Abnormal Metabolic Phenotype in Normal-Weight Chinese Adults

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Capital Medical University, No. 10, Xitoutiao, You’anmen Wai, Fengtai District, Beijing 100069, China
China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Cherry Garden East Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China
Department of Chronic Disease, Beijing Fangshan District Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Yuehua North Street, Fangshan District, Beijing 102446, China
Birth Defects Monitoring Center, West China Second University Hospital, People South Road, Wuhou District, Chengdu 610041, China
Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, No. 3, Dongdan, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100005, China
Departments of Medicine and Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: William Chi-shing Cho
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 18 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [312 KB, uploaded 7 April 2017]


We aimed to determine the association of indices of body composition with abnormal metabolic phenotype, and to examine whether the strength of association was differentially distributed in different age groups in normal-weight Chinese adults. A total of 3015 normal-weight adults from a survey of Chinese people encompassing health and basic physiological parameters was included in this cross-sectional study. We investigated the association of body composition measured by bioelectrical impedance analysis and conventional body indices with metabolically unhealthy normal-weight (MUHNW) adults, divided by age groups and gender. Associations were assessed by multiple logistic regression analysis. We found abnormal metabolism in lean Chinese adults to be associated with higher adiposity indices (body mass index, BMI), waist circumference, and percentage body fat), lower skeletal muscle %, and body water %. Body composition was differentially distributed in age groups within the metabolically healthy normal weight (MHNW)/MUHNW groups. The impact of factors related to MUHNW shows a decreasing trend with advancing age in females and disparities of factors (BMI, body fat %, skeletal muscle %, and body water %) associated with the MUHNW phenotype in the elderly was noticed. Those factors remained unchanged in males throughout the age range, while the association of BMI, body fat %, skeletal muscle %, and body water % to MUHNW attenuated and grip strength emerged as a protective factor in elderly females. These results suggest that increased adiposity and decreased skeletal muscle mass are associated with unfavorable metabolic traits in normal-weight Chinese adults, and that MUHNW is independent of BMI, while increased waist circumference appears to be indicative of an abnormal metabolic phenotype in elderly females. View Full-Text
Keywords: body composition; body fat; skeletal muscle; metabolism; metabolically unhealthy normal-weight body composition; body fat; skeletal muscle; metabolism; metabolically unhealthy normal-weight
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Xia, L.; Dong, F.; Gong, H.; Xu, G.; Wang, K.; Liu, F.; Pan, L.; Zhang, L.; Yan, Y.; Gaisano, H.; He, Y.; Shan, G. Association between Indices of Body Composition and Abnormal Metabolic Phenotype in Normal-Weight Chinese Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 391.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top