Validity of methods of body composition assessment in young and older men and women

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Laurie Wideman, Safrit-Ennis Distinguished Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: We examined the validity of percent body fat (%Fat) estimation by two-compartment (2-Comp) hydrostatic weighing (Siri 2-Comp), 3-Comp dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA 3-Comp), 3-Comp hydrostatic weighing corrected for the total body water (Siri 3-Comp), and anthropometric methods in young and older individuals (n = 78). A 4-Comp model of body composition served as the criterion measure of %Fat (Heymsfield 4-Comp; S. B. Heymsfield, S. Lichtman, R. N. Baumgartner, J. Wang, Y. Kamen, A. Aliprantis, and R. N. Pierson Jr., Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 52: 52–58, 1990.). Comparison of the Siri 3-Comp with the Heymsfield 4-Comp model revealed mean differences of =0.4 %Fat, r values = r = 0.997, total error values = 0.85 %Fat, and 95% confidence intervals (Bland-Altman analysis) of =1.7 %Fat. Comparison of Siri 2-Comp, DEXA, and anthropometric models with the Heymsfield 4-Comp revealed that total error scores ranged from ±4.0 to ±10.7 %Fat, and 95% confidence intervals associated with the Bland-Altman analysis ranged from ±5.1 to ±15.0 %Fat. We conclude that the Siri 3-Comp model provides valid and accurate body composition data when compared with a 4-Comp criterion model. However, the individual variability associated with the Siri 2-Comp, DEXA 3-Comp, and anthropometric models may limit their use in research settings. The use of anthropometric estimation methods resulted in large mean differences and a considerable amount of interindividual variability. These data suggest that the use of these techniques should be viewed with caution.

Additional Information

Journal of Applied Physiology 86(5): 1728-1738
Language: English
Date: 1999
body density, body water, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, body fat

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