Table of Contents

Locator Record

Title: Body Measurements (BMX_D )
Contact Number: 1-866-441-NCHS
Years of Content: 2005 - 2006
First Published: November, 2007
Revised: NA
Access Constraints: None
Use Constraints: None
Geographic Coverage: National
Subject:
Record Source: NHANES 2005 - 2006
Survey Methodology: NHANES 2005 - 2006 is a stratified multistage probability sample of the civilian non-institutionalized population of the U.S.
Medium: NHANES Web site; SAS transport files

Component Description

NHANES body measurement data are used to monitor trends in infant and child growth, to estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the U.S. population, and to examine the associations between body weight and the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population. The target age groups for the NHANES 2005-2006 body measurement component are as follows:

Head circumference: birth through 6 months of age
Maximal calf circumference: 8 years of age and older
Mid-thigh circumference: 8 years of age and older
Mid-upper arm circumference: 2 months of age and older
Recumbent length: birth through 47 months
Standing height: 2 years and older
Subscapular skin fold: 2 months of age and older
Triceps skin fold: 2 months of age and older
Upper arm length: 2 months of age and older
Upper leg length: 8 years and older
Waist circumference: 2 years of age and older
Weight: All ages

Eligible Sample

All survey participants were eligible for the body measurement component. There were no medical, safety, or other exclusions for the body measurements protocol. The health technicians used their discretion to obtain as many measures as practical for persons who used a wheelchair. No changes have been made to the NHANES body measurement protocol since the continuous NHANES began in1999.

Protocol and Procedure

The body measurement data were collected by trained health technicians. The health technician was accompanied by a recorder during each body measurement examination. The respondent’s age, at the time of the screening interview, determined the body measurement examination protocol for survey participants. In some instances, several weeks elapsed between the initial screening interview and the health examination. The Demographics data file includes variables for age at screening (RIDAGEYR and RIDAGEMN) and age at examination (RIDAGEEX).

Arm and leg measurements were made on the right side of the body. If an examinee had an amputation, medical condition, or medical appliance such as a cast that prevented measurements from being taken on the right side of the body, the examiner took measurements on the left side. The body measurements file does not identify persons who had amputations because the information might be considered identifiable and pose a disclosure concern. Therefore, body weight data for individuals who had limb amputations were set to missing.

This data file includes body measurements for women who were pregnant at the time of their health examination. Pregnancy status at the time of the health examination is indicated by the Demographic file variable, RIDEXPRG - pregnancy status at the time of the health examination.
For general guidelines on the body measurement procedures, please refer to the Anthropometric Standardization Reference Manual (Lohman, 1988).

The NHANES body measurement techniques are illustrated in the NHANES III Anthropometric Procedures Video (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NHANES III Anthropometric Procedures Video). The NHANES III body measurement protocol included more measurements than the protocol that was used in NHANES 2005-2006. The maximal calf circumference measurement was added to NHANES in 1999 and is not shown in the NHANES III video.

The NHANES 2005-2006 Body Measurement Procedures Manual is posted on the NHANES 2005-2006 website. The manual provides descriptions of the NHANES protocol, survey equipment, and quality control procedures.

Quality Assurance & Quality Control

The NHANES health technicians completed a 2-day training program with survey staff and an expert anthropometrist. The training included an overview of the component using the NHANES III anthropometry video and demonstrations conducted by the expert examiner with volunteer subjects. The expert examiner reviewed and demonstrated the proper technique to use for each measurement. Supervised practice exercises followed with several volunteer subjects, including infants, children, and adults. New technicians were monitored closely by the chief health technician when they started working in the field.

Health technician performance in the field was monitored continuously using direct observation, data reviews, and periodic expert examiner (gold standard comparison) evaluations. All of the body measurement rooms in the mobile examination centers (MECs) were identical with respect to the arrangement and type of equipment. Scheduled equipment calibration was performed by the health technicians and verified by supervisory staff. Please refer to the Body Measures Procedures Manual for a detailed description of the quality assurance and control measures used in NHANES.

Data Processing and Editing

Data were reviewed for unusual and erroneous values. The initial checks used range criteria that were based on the NHANES III and NHANES 1999–2004 body measures data. Range checks for infants under 2 months of age and maximal calf circumference were based on NHANES 1999–2004 data. During the data review, values that were above the 99th percentile or below the 1st percentile for a particular age or age-gender group were flagged for review. When records were flagged, the entire body measurements record was reviewed for reasonableness. Subject characteristics such as height, weight, age and gender were taken into consideration. Values that were unrealistic were deleted from the file. None of the original body measures data were changed and there are no imputed values in this file.

Analytic Notes

Component status code: A final body measures component status code (BMDSTAT) provides analysts with a quick method of determining complete and partial body measures examination records.

Unusual values: Unusual body measurement values were noted during the review of the data. Typically, unusual values occurred when a subject was extremely short, tall, overweight or underweight. Analysts should examine the distributions of the body measurements carefully. In particular, the upper arm length (BMXARML) and upper leg length (BMXLEG) values are affected by extreme amounts of adipose tissue. Skinfold measurements were not obtained for many obese subjects because the amount of adipose tissue exceeded the limits of the caliper, or the technician was not able to grasp a double thickness of tissue.

Comment Codes: Comment codes were noted by the health technicians during data collection to document problems or situations that arose during the body measurement examination. For example, the variable BMIWT is a comment code for the body weight measurement. If a subject did not change into the NHANES exam gown, a code of BMIWT of ‘3’ denoting ‘clothing worn’ was made in the record. Analysts should review the comment code information prior to analyzing the data and selecting the subjects to include in their analytic samples.

Sample Weights: The examination sample weights should be used to analyze the body measurement data.
Please refer to the Analytic Guidelines for further details on the use of sample weights and other analytic issues. The Analytic Guidelines are available on the NHANES website.

References

Codebook and Frequencies

SEQN - Respondent sequence number

Variable Name:
SEQN
SAS Label:
Respondent sequence number
English Text:
Respondent sequence number.
Target:
Both males and females 0 YEARS - 150 YEARS

BMDSTATS - Body Measures Component Status Code

Variable Name:
BMDSTATS
SAS Label:
Body Measures Component Status Code
English Text:
Body Measures Component status Code
Target:
Both males and females 0 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Complete data for age group 7910 7910
2 Partial: Height and weight obtained 196 8106
3 Other partial exam 1766 9872
4 No body measures exam data 78 9950
. Missing 0 9950

BMXWT - Weight (kg)

Variable Name:
BMXWT
SAS Label:
Weight (kg)
English Text:
Weight (kg)
Target:
Both males and females 0 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Hard Edits:
0.0000 to 440.0000
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
2.6 to 371 Range of Values 9847 9847
. Missing 103 9950

BMIWT - Weight Comment

Variable Name:
BMIWT
SAS Label:
Weight Comment
English Text:
Weight Comment
Target:
Both males and females 0 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Could not obtain 29 29
2 Exceeds capacity 0 29
3 Clothing 282 311
4 Medical appliance 15 326
. Missing 9624 9950

BMXRECUM - Recumbent Length (cm)

Variable Name:
BMXRECUM
SAS Label:
Recumbent Length (cm)
English Text:
Recumbent Length (cm)
Target:
Both males and females 0 MONTHS - 47 MONTHS
Hard Edits:
16.0000 to 119.3000
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
46.8 to 113.3 Range of Values 1356 1356
. Missing 8594 9950

BMIRECUM - Recumbent Length Comment

Variable Name:
BMIRECUM
SAS Label:
Recumbent Length Comment
English Text:
Recumbent Length Comment
Target:
Both males and females 0 MONTHS - 47 MONTHS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Could not obtain 38 38
2 Exceeds capacity 0 38
3 Not straight 1 39
. Missing 9911 9950

BMXHEAD - Head Circumference (cm)

Variable Name:
BMXHEAD
SAS Label:
Head Circumference (cm)
English Text:
Head Circumference (cm)
Target:
Both males and females 0 MONTHS - 6 MONTHS
Hard Edits:
00.0000 to 99.9999
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
32.6 to 48 Range of Values 292 292
. Missing 9658 9950

BMIHEAD - Head Circumference Comment

Variable Name:
BMIHEAD
SAS Label:
Head Circumference Comment
English Text:
Head Circumference Comment
Target:
Both males and females 0 MONTHS - 6 MONTHS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Could not obtain 0 0
2 Exceeds capacity 0 0
3 Not straight 0 0
. Missing 9950 9950

BMXHT - Standing Height (cm)

Variable Name:
BMXHT
SAS Label:
Standing Height (cm)
English Text:
Standing Height (cm)
Target:
Both males and females 2 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Hard Edits:
70.0000 to 208.4000
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
79.8 to 204.1 Range of Values 8962 8962
. Missing 988 9950

BMIHT - Standing Height Comment

Variable Name:
BMIHT
SAS Label:
Standing Height Comment
English Text:
Standing Height Comment
Target:
Both males and females 2 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Could not obtain 62 62
2 Exceeds capacity 0 62
3 Not straight 258 320
. Missing 9630 9950

BMXBMI - Body Mass Index (kg/m**2)

Variable Name:
BMXBMI
SAS Label:
Body Mass Index (kg/m**2)
English Text:
Body Mass Index (kg/m**2)
Target:
Both males and females 2 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
11.74 to 130.21 Range of Values 8949 8949
. Missing 1001 9950

BMXLEG - Upper Leg Length (cm)

Variable Name:
BMXLEG
SAS Label:
Upper Leg Length (cm)
English Text:
Upper Leg Length (cm)
Target:
Both males and females 8 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Hard Edits:
0.0000 to 200.0000
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
21.5 to 53.7 Range of Values 7314 7314
. Missing 2636 9950

BMILEG - Upper Leg Length Comment

Variable Name:
BMILEG
SAS Label:
Upper Leg Length Comment
English Text:
Upper Leg Length Comment
Target:
Both males and females 8 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Could not obtain 325 325
. Missing 9625 9950

BMXCALF - Maximal Calf Circumference (cm)

Variable Name:
BMXCALF
SAS Label:
Maximal Calf Circumference (cm)
English Text:
Maximal Calf Circumference (cm)
Target:
Both males and females 8 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Hard Edits:
0.0000 to 200.0000
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
20.2 to 75.6 Range of Values 7386 7386
. Missing 2564 9950

BMICALF - Maximal Calf Comment

Variable Name:
BMICALF
SAS Label:
Maximal Calf Comment
English Text:
Maximal Calf Comment
Target:
Both males and females 8 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Could not obtain 258 258
. Missing 9692 9950

BMXARML - Upper Arm Length (cm)

Variable Name:
BMXARML
SAS Label:
Upper Arm Length (cm)
English Text:
Upper Arm Length (cm)
Target:
Both males and females 2 MONTHS - 150 YEARS
Hard Edits:
0.0000 to 200.0000
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
9.5 to 48.6 Range of Values 9498 9498
. Missing 452 9950

BMIARML - Upper Arm Length Comment

Variable Name:
BMIARML
SAS Label:
Upper Arm Length Comment
English Text:
Upper Arm Length Comment
Target:
Both males and females 2 MONTHS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Could not obtain 291 291
. Missing 9659 9950

BMXARMC - Arm Circumference (cm)

Variable Name:
BMXARMC
SAS Label:
Arm Circumference (cm)
English Text:
Arm Circumference (cm)
Target:
Both males and females 2 MONTHS - 150 YEARS
Hard Edits:
0.0000 to 200.0000
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
11 to 62.4 Range of Values 9494 9494
. Missing 456 9950

BMIARMC - Arm Circumference Comment

Variable Name:
BMIARMC
SAS Label:
Arm Circumference Comment
English Text:
Arm Circumference Comment
Target:
Both males and females 2 MONTHS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Could not obtain 297 297
. Missing 9653 9950

BMXWAIST - Waist Circumference (cm)

Variable Name:
BMXWAIST
SAS Label:
Waist Circumference (cm)
English Text:
Waist Circumference (cm)
Target:
Both males and females 2 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Hard Edits:
0.0000 to 200.0000
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
40.2 to 175 Range of Values 8672 8672
. Missing 1278 9950

BMIWAIST - Waist Circumference Comment

Variable Name:
BMIWAIST
SAS Label:
Waist Circumference Comment
English Text:
Waist Circumference Comment
Target:
Both males and females 2 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Could not obtain 346 346
. Missing 9604 9950

BMXTHICR - Thigh Circumference (cm)

Variable Name:
BMXTHICR
SAS Label:
Thigh Circumference (cm)
English Text:
Thigh Circumference (cm)
Target:
Both males and females 8 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Hard Edits:
0.0000 to 200.0000
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
28.3 to 93.9 Range of Values 7295 7295
. Missing 2655 9950

BMITHICR - Thigh Circumference Comment

Variable Name:
BMITHICR
SAS Label:
Thigh Circumference Comment
English Text:
Thigh Circumference Comment
Target:
Both males and females 8 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Could not obtain 350 350
. Missing 9600 9950

BMXTRI - Triceps Skinfold (mm)

Variable Name:
BMXTRI
SAS Label:
Triceps Skinfold (mm)
English Text:
Triceps Skinfold (mm)
Target:
Both males and females 2 MONTHS - 150 YEARS
Hard Edits:
0.0000 to 45.0000
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
3 to 45 Range of Values 8897 8897
. Missing 1053 9950

BMITRI - Triceps Skinfold Comment

Variable Name:
BMITRI
SAS Label:
Triceps Skinfold Comment
English Text:
Triceps Skinfold Comment
Target:
Both males and females 2 MONTHS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Could not obtain 712 712
2 Exceeds capacity 183 895
3 Hard to obtain 0 895
. Missing 9055 9950

BMXSUB - Subscapular Skinfold (mm)

Variable Name:
BMXSUB
SAS Label:
Subscapular Skinfold (mm)
English Text:
Subscapular Skinfold (mm)
Target:
Both males and females 2 MONTHS - 150 YEARS
Hard Edits:
0.0000 to 45.0000
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
2.8 to 44 Range of Values 8110 8110
. Missing 1840 9950

BMISUB - Subscapular Skinfold Comment

Variable Name:
BMISUB
SAS Label:
Subscapular Skinfold Comment
English Text:
Subscapular Skinfold Comment
Target:
Both males and females 2 MONTHS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Could not obtain 1575 1575
2 Exceeds capacity 108 1683
3 Hard to obtain 0 1683
. Missing 8267 9950