Anthropometry and bioelectrical impedance inconsistently predicts fatness in women with regional adiposity

Pamela Swan, Karen E. McConnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: This investigation examined the accuracy of several generalizable anthropometric (ANTHRO) and bioelectrical impedance (BIA) regression equations to estimate % body fat (%BF) in women with either upper body (UB) or lower body (LB) fat distribution patterns. Methods: Thirty-six premenopausal women were individually matched for age (X̄ = 38.6 ± 6.6 yr), BMI (X̄ = 25.5 ± 4.2 kg-m-2) and %BF (30.3 ± 8.1%; hydrostatic, [UWW]) and placed by waist to hip ratio (WHR) into two distinct groups: LB (N = 18; WHR ≤ 0.73) and UB (N = 18; WHR ≥ 0.80). Equations tested were ANTHRO: Jackson et al. (JPW-7 and 3 site), 1980; Dumin and Womersley (DW), 1974; Tran and Weltman (TW), 1989; and Vogel et al. (V), 1988; BIA: Lohman (L), 1992; Gray et al. (G), 1989; and VanLoan and Mayclin (VLM), 1987. Circumference and skinfold measures were made by a trained technician. BIA (Vallhalla, 1990B) measures were taken 4 h postprandially under controlled conditions of water intake and exercise. %BF by UWW (criterion) was not different between groups (UB = 30.8 ± 8.2%; LB = 29.7 ± 8%). Results: In the UB group, three of five ANTHRO equations significantly overestimated %BF by approximately 6% (range = 3-8%) as compared with UWW. BIA overestimated %BF in UB by 5% using G and in both groups by about 6% using VLM, whereas L underestimated %BF in LB by about 4%. Conclusion: We conclude that ANTHRO and some BIA equations are accurate for predicting %BF in LB fat 'shaped' women but are not appropriate for women with primarily abdominal fat patterning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1068-1075
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 17 1999


  • Body Composition
  • Body Fat Distribution
  • Densitometry
  • Percent Body Fat
  • Skinfolds
  • Waist to Hip Ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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