• 1 Department of Community Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia
Malays J Med Sci, 2009 Apr;16(2):21-6.
PMID: 22589654 MyJurnal


A cross-sectional study was carried out in Kota Bharu on three groups of men with ages ranging from 18 to 44 years. The study groups included 83 athletes representing various types of sports and levels of participation (athlete group), 80 active men who exercised a minimum of 30 minutes per day at least 3 times per week (exercise group), and 80 inactive men (sedentary group). The objectives of the study were to compare the body mass indices (BMIs) and body fat statuses among the three groups with different physical activity levels. The height and weight of respondents were measured using the Seca weighing balance with height attachment. Skinfold thickness of biceps, triceps, subscapular regions, and suprailiac regions of each respondent were measured using Harpenden skinfold calipers. Percentage body fat was calculated as the sum of the four measurements of skinfold thickness. The results showed that the mean (± SD) BMIs in the athlete, exercise, and sedentary groups were 22.6 ± 2.9, 23.4 ± 3.5, and 24.3 ± 4.6 kg/m(2), respectively. The combined prevalence of pre-obese (BMI 25.029.9) and obese (BMI ³ 30.0) subjects was 21.7% in the athlete group, 29.9% in the exercise group, and 47.5% in the sedentary group. The mean (± SD) percentage of body fat in athletes was 15.7 ± 5.4%, which was lower than in the exercise (18.9 ± 5.5%) and sedentary (20.6 ± 5.8%) groups. The study revealed that individuals who are actively involved in physical activity, particularly in sport activities, have lower BMIs and percentage body fat values compared to sedentary people. Therefore, to prevent obesity, all individuals are encouraged to perform regular physical activity, particularly sports activities.

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