Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Forensics: Overweight people really are big-boned

Date:
March 22, 2011
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
One of the blind spots in forensic science, particularly in identifying unknown remains, is the inability of experts to determine how much an individual weighed based on his or her skeleton. New research moves us closer to solving this problem by giving forensic experts valuable insight into what the shape of the femur can tell us about the weight of an individual.

Researchers found that the heavier an individual was, the wider the shaft of that person's femur.
Credit: Image courtesy of North Carolina State University

One of the blind spots in forensic science, particularly in identifying unknown remains, is the inability of experts to determine how much an individual weighed based on his or her skeleton. New research from North Carolina State University moves us closer to solving this problem by giving forensic experts valuable insight into what the shape of the femur can tell us about the weight of an individual.

Related Articles


"This research allows us to determine whether an individual was overweight based solely on the characteristics of a skeleton's femur, or thigh bone," says Dr. Ann Ross, an associate professor of anthropology at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research. However, Ross notes, this research does not give us the ability to provide an individual's exact weight based on skeletal remains.

Researchers found that the heavier an individual was, the wider the shaft of that person's femur. The researchers hypothesize that the femur of an overweight person is more robust because it bears more weight, but also because overweight individuals move and walk differently to compensate for their greater mass.

The researchers evaluated the femur bones of 121 white men for the study. They used the bones of white men exclusively in order to eliminate any variation that could be attributed to race or gender.

NC State's Department of Sociology and Anthropology is part of the university's College of Humanities and Social Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gina M. Agostini, Ann H. Ross. The Effect of Weight on the Femur: A Cross-Sectional Analysis. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2011; 56 (2): 339 DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2010.01648.x

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Forensics: Overweight people really are big-boned." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322105300.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2011, March 22). Forensics: Overweight people really are big-boned. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322105300.htm
North Carolina State University. "Forensics: Overweight people really are big-boned." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322105300.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins