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The purpose of this study was to examine the anthropometric, body composition, and somatotype characteristics of Japanese young women and to focus on normal-weight obesity syndrome and sarcopenia diagnosis criteria.


A total of 124 Japanese university freshmen women were measured at body mass index (BMI), percent body fat and skeletal muscle index (SMI), usual gait test, and handgrip strength. The subjects were divided into obesity (≥30% body fat; BMI: ≥25.0 kg/m2), normal-weight obesity (≥30% body fat; BMI: 18.5–24.9 kg/m2), sarcopenia (handgrip, <18 kg; gait speed: ≤0.8 m/s; SMI: <5.7 kg/m2), or presarcopenia (SMI: <5.7 kg/m2). There were no subjects below the sarcopenia diagnosis criteria in usual gait speed, but not for handgrip (0.8%) and SMI (36.3%).


The prevalence of presarcopenia group (36.3%) is higher than in the normal-weight obesity (16.9%) and obesity (4.8%) groups. Anthropometry and sarcopenia diagnosis assessments were significantly higher in normal-weight obesity and standard groups compared with presarcopenia group.


The number of young women was higher in the presarcopenia group than in the normal-weight obesity group, suggesting that the improvement of intrinsic skeletal muscle mass rather than fat mass is important for Japanese young women.

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