Percent body fat estimations in college women using field and laboratory methods: A three-compartment model approach

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Background. Methods used to estimate percent body fat can be classified as a laboratory or field technique. However, the validity of these methods compared to multiple-compartment models has not been fully established. The purpose of this study was to determine the validity of field and laboratory methods for estimating percent fat (%fat) in healthy college-age men compared to the Siri three-compartment model (3C). Methods. Thirty-one Caucasian men (22.5 ± 2.7 yrs; 175.6 ± 6.3 cm; 76.4 ± 10.3 kg) had their %fat estimated by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) using the BodyGram™ computer program (BIA-AK) and population-specific equation (BIA-Lohman), near-infrared interactance (NIR) (Futrex® 6100/XL), four circumference-based military equations [Marine Corps (MC), Navy and Air Force (NAF), Army (A), and Friedl], air-displacement plethysmography (BP), and hydrostatic weighing (HW). Results. All circumference-based military equations (MC = 4.7% fat, NAF = 5.2% fat, A = 4.7% fat, Friedl = 4.7% fat) along with NIR (NIR = 5.1% fat) produced an unacceptable total error (TE). Both laboratory methods produced acceptable TE values (HW = 2.5% fat; BP = 2.7% fat). The BIA-AK, and BIA-Lohman field methods produced acceptable TE values (2.1% fat). A significant difference was observed for the MC and NAF equations compared to both the 3C model and HW (p < 0.006). Conclusion. Results indicate that the BP and HW are valid laboratory methods when compared to the 3C model to estimate %fat in college-age Caucasian men. When the use of a laboratory method is not feasible, BIA-AK, and BIA-Lohman are acceptable field methods to estimate %fat in this population. © 2008 Moon et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.




Moon, J. R., Hull, H. R., Tobkin, S. E., Teramoto, M., Karabulut, M., Roberts, M. D., … Stout, J. R. (2007). Percent body fat estimations in college women using field and laboratory methods: A three-compartment model approach. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4.

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