Comparison of body composition methods in obese African-American women

Robert L. Newton, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, 6400 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA.
Anthony Alfonso
Emily York-Crowe
Heather Walden
Marney A. White
Donna Ryan
Donald A. Williamson


OBJECTIVE: To compare the accuracy of percentage body fat (%BF) estimates between bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and DXA in obese African-American women. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Fifty-five obese African-American women (mean age, 45 years; mean BMI, 38; mean %BF, 48%) were studied. BF was assessed by both BIA (RJL Systems BIA 101Q; RJL Systems, Clinton Township, MI) and DXA (Hologic QDR-2000 Bone Densitometer; Hologic Inc., Bedford, MA). Generalized and ethnicity- and obese-specific equations were used to calculate %BF from the BIA. Bland-Altman analyses were used to compare the agreement between the BIA and the DXA, with the DXA serving as the criterion measure. RESULTS: Two of the generalized equations provided consistent estimates across the weight range in comparison with the DXA estimates, whereas most of the other equations increasingly underestimated %BF as BF increased. One of the generalized and one of the ethnicity-specific equations had mean differences that were not significantly different from the DXA value. DISCUSSION: The findings show that the Lukaski equation provided the most precise and accurate estimates of %BF in comparison with the QDR 2000 and provide preliminary support for the use of this equation for obese African-American women.