Send to

Choose Destination
J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2008 Nov;2(6):1139-46.

Body composition methods: comparisons and interpretation.

Author information

Department of Community Health, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio 45420, USA.


The incidence of obesity in the United States and other developed countries is epidemic. Because the prevalence of comorbidities to obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, has also increased, it is clear there is a great need to monitor and treat obesity and its comorbidities. Body composition assessments vary in precision and in the target tissue of interest. The most common assessments are anthropometric and include weight, stature, abdominal circumference, and skinfold measurements. More complex methods include bioelectrical impedance, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, body density, and total body water estimates. There is no single universally recommended method for body composition assessment in the obese, but each modality has benefits and drawbacks. We present here the most common methods and provide guidelines by way of examples to assist the clinician/researcher in choosing methods appropriate to their situation.


anthropometry; body composition; obesity; type 2 diabetes

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center