Providing professional expertise in anthropometry and body composition measurements
Team and contact
- Emanuella De Lucia Rolfe (Anthropometry Specialist)
- Richard Powell (Anthropometry Research Assistant)
- For enquiries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the team
The Anthropometry team manages anthropometric and body composition activities on a wide range of research projects in the University of Cambridge, as well as studies run by international collaborators.
The team is responsible for the Anthropometry section of the Diet, Anthropometry and Physical Activity (DAPA) Measurement Toolkit. The toolkit provides end-users with the necessary information and resources to identify and implement optimal methods in different populations and settings on physical activity, anthropometry/body composition and diet. It also helps the users processing and interpreting the resulting data.
The team ensures the collection of high quality body measurement data. The accuracy of measurements is achieved by developing standardised procedures, training and monitoring the performance of study team members, calibrating equipment and performing quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) workshops, where technical errors of measurement (TEM) are quantified.
The team also manages radiation protection processes, ensuring that the requirements of the IRR and IRMER regulations are met for the use of DEXA scans.
We have expertise in a variety of methods used in clinical trials and other epidemiological studies, such as bioelectrical impedance analysis, DEXA (Hologic and GE), and abdominal ultrasound, as well as skinfold thicknesses and standard anthropometry.
We can provide advice and support in the following areas.
- Advising on appropriate measurement tools for different ages and population groups.
- Planning anthropometry and body composition components of research project proposals.
- Developing and validating novel anthropometry and body composition methods for use in epidemiological studies.
Method implementation and data acquisition
- Training in anthropometry and body composition methods throughout the life course.
- Developing standard operating procedures, training procedures, risk assessments and related policies, to ensure efficient and safe operation of equipment, in line with good clinical and research governance practices.
- Adapting and implementing procedures in different settings and geographical locations.
- Providing data collection in these methods.
QA and QC monitoring
- Setting up tailored QC workshops, where study team members conduct measurements alongside expert examiners to reinforce the importance of standardized procedures and measurement precision as well as calculating inter- and intra-observer errors.
- Establishing and monitoring QA procedures for data collection and processing
- Guidance on the development of effective pipelines for data processing (source data extraction, data cleaning, and datasets generation).
- The team is experienced in developing data monitoring and cleaning systems, which interact with specialist software. These systems are also set up to produce automated bespoke feedback reports for study participants and creating summary data reports.
Analysis and data interpretation
- Advice on analysis and interpretation of anthropometry and body composition data such as child growth data analysis using specialized software to derive percentiles and z scores, and data harmonization e.g. converting measurement values derived from different methods by comparison to a target or gold standard.
We keep up-to-date with different methods by attending specialist meetings and conferences and by presenting and publishing research findings from validation studies and large epidemiological studies.
See recent Anthropometry team publications on the MRC Epidemiology Unit online publications database.