Anthropometric assessment of body size differences of full-term male and female infants

Academic Article


  • Objective: To determine gender-specific differences in anthropometric characteristics of full-term male and female infants. Methods: Twelve hundred five term newborn infants were examined. All measures of length and skinfold thickness were performed in a standardized manner. Results: After adjusting for confounding variables by regression analysis, we found that nearly all length and circumference measurements were significantly smaller in female infants than in male infants but that subcutaneous fat deposition in female infants was significantly increased. However, there was no difference in the ponderal index between male and female newborns, indicating that this measure does not correlate with newborn fat deposition across the sexes. Conclusions: Despite being shorter and having smaller circumferences, female infants have more subcutaneous fat than male infants. The ponderal index is not useful as a measure of fatness when the sexes are compared. We speculate that the greater subcutaneous fat deposition in female infants may be related to their better neonatal outcomes. © 1993 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Author List

  • Copper RL; Goldenberg RL; Cliver SP; DuBard MB; Hoffman HJ; Davis RO
  • Start Page

  • 161
  • End Page

  • 164
  • Volume

  • 81
  • Issue

  • 2