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Interaction of clothing and body mass index affects validity of air-displacement plethysmography in adults

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Objective: We determined the effect of clothing type on the validity of air-displacement plethysmography (ADP) to estimate percentage of body fat (%BF) and ascertain if these effects differ by body mass index (BMI). Methods: The %BF by dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and %BF, density, and body volume by ADP were assessed in 132 healthy adults classified by normal (N; 18.5-24.9 kg/m²), overweight (OW; 25-29.9 kg/m²), and obese (OB; 30-39.9 kg/m²) BMIs. Results: Compared with DXA, ADP underestimated (P < 0.0001) %BF from scrubs (SC) and t-shirt/shorts (TS) in N (11.4%; 8.6%) and OW (6.8%; 4.9%) BMI groups, respectively. ADP compared with DXA overestimated (P < 0.0006) %BF in the OW group (1.2%), but underestimated (P < 0.0001) it in the N group (2.4%). ADP also overestimated (P < 0.006) %BF in the OB group wearing spandex (SP; 4.8%), but not in those wearing SC (0.7%; P = 0.10) and TS (0.5%; P = 0.22) versus DXA. Conclusion: All three clothing types showed significant error in estimating %BF with ADP compared with DXA in N and OW BMI. Use of spandex provided the least error and is the preferred attire to obtain valid body composition results when testing N and OW subjects. However, SP provided the greatest error in the OB group. Error in ADP %BF in OB was minimal in SC and TS and similar to the within-subject variability in %BF estimates with ADP. Thus, TS and SC are acceptable alternatives to SP in adults with excess body weight.
Shafer, Kimberly J. , Siders, William A. , Johnson, LuAnn K. , Lukaski, Henry C.
body composition , body mass index , body fat distribution , skinfold thickness , nutrition assessment , adults , clothing , dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry , accuracy , overweight , obesity
p. 148-154.
Includes references
Nutrition 2008 Feb., v. 24, no. 2
[New York]: Elsevier Science Inc.
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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