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Pediatrics. 2004 May;113(5):1285-90.

Measurement of percentage of body fat in 411 children and adolescents: a comparison of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry with a four-compartment model.

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  • 1Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Pediatricians are encountering body composition information more frequently, with percentage of body fat (%BF) measurement receiving particular attention as a result of the obesity epidemic. One confounding issue is that different methods may yield different %BF results in the same person. The objective of this study was to compare dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) with the criterion 4-compartment model (4-CM) for measurement of %BF in a large pediatric cohort and to assist pediatricians in appropriate interpretation of body composition information by recognizing differences between techniques.

METHODS:

Height, weight, anthropometrics, body density by underwater weighing, total body water by deuterium dilution, and bone mineral content and %BF by DXA (Lunar DPX/DPX-L) were measured in 411 healthy subjects, aged 6 to 18 years. Values for %BF by 4-CM and DXA were compared using regression analysis.

RESULTS:

The mean +/- standard deviation values for %BF by DXA (22.73% +/- 11.23%) and by 4-CM (21.72% +/- 9.42%) were different, but there was a strong relationship between the 2 methods (R2 = 0.85). DXA underestimated %BF in subjects with lower %BF and overestimated it in those with higher %BF. The relationship between the 2 methods was not affected by gender, age, ethnicity, pubertal stage, height, weight, or body mass index. The standard error of the estimate was 3.66%.

CONCLUSION:

This analysis demonstrates a predictable relationship between DXA and 4-CM for %BF measurement. Because of its ease of use, consistent relationship with 4-CM, and availability, we propose that DXA has the capacity for clinical application including prediction of metabolic abnormalities associated with excess %BF in pediatrics.

PMID:
15121943
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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