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Body density estimates from upper-body skinfold thicknesses compared to air-displacement plethysmography

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Background & aims: Determine the accuracy of body density (Db) estimated with upper-body skinfold thickness (SFT) measurements compared to air-displacement plethysmography (ADP) and ascertain whether body mass index (BMI) impacts the accuracy of SFT to assess Db. Methods: We estimated Db with SFT and ADP in 131 healthy men and women with normal (N; 18.5–24.9 kg/m2), overweight (OW; 25–29.9 kg/m2), and obese (OB; 30–39.9 kg/m2) BMI. Results: Compared with ADP, SFT overestimated (p < 0.05) Db in OW and OB females and in OB males (−0.0047, −0.0164 and −0.0119 g/cc, respectively), and underestimated (p < 0.05) Db in N females and males (0.0050 and 0.0068 g/cc, respectively) but did not differently estimate Db in OW males. The gender by BMI group interaction was not significant. SFT underestimated (p < 0.05; 0.0058 g/cc) Db in the N and overestimated (p < 0.05; 0.0113 g/cc) Db in the OB BMI groups. The error in predicting Db did not change significantly over the range of Db within the N (r = 0.239, p = 0.06) and OB (r = 0.160, p = 0.934) BMI groups. Limits of agreement were −0.0165 to 0.0284 g/cc and −0.0365 to 0.0085 g/cc for the N and OB BMI groups, respectively. The error of estimating Db with SFT was correlated with mean Db in the aggregate sample (r = 0.495, p < 0.0001) and the OW group (r = 0.394, p < 0.009). The regression-based limits of agreement were ±0.0226 g/cc in the total group and ±0.0168 g/cc in the OW group. Conclusions: Although SFT offer practical advantages, the validity of SFT to estimate Db among individuals with N and OB BMI is adversely affected.
Shafer, Kimberly J. , Siders, William A. , Johnson, LuAnn K. , Lukaski, Henry C.
Includes references
Clinical nutrition 2010 Apr., v. 29, no. 2
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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