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PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e58272. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058272. Epub 2013 Apr 1.

Percentage of body fat assessment using bioelectrical impedance analysis and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in a weight loss program for obese or overweight Chinese adults.

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Graduate Institute of Biostatistics, College of Public Health, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.


The current study aimed to compare the estimates of body fat percentage (%BF) by performing bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in a sample of obese or overweight Chinese adults who participated in a weight-loss randomized control trial stratified by gender to determine whether or not BIA is a valid measurement tool. Among 189 adults [73 males, 116 females; age = 41 to 74 years; mean body mass index (BMI) = 27.3 kg/m(2)], assessments of %BF at the baseline and six months from the baseline were conducted by performing BIA and DXA. Bland-Altman analyses and multiple regression analyses were used to assess the relationships between %BFBIA and %BFDXA. Compared with DXA, BIA underestimated %BF [in males: 4.6, -2.4 to 11.7 (mean biases, 95% limit of agreement) at the baseline, 1.4, -7.4 to 10.2 at the endpoint, and 3.2, -4.8 to 11.3 in changes; in females: 5.1, -2.4 to 12.7; 2.2, -6.1 to 10.4; and 3.0, -4.8 to 10.7, respectively]. For males and females, %BFDXA proved to be a significant predictor of the difference between DXA and BIA at the baseline, the endpoint, and in changes when BMI and age were considered (in males: p<0.01 and R (2) = 23.1%, 24.1%, 20.7%, respectively; for females: p<0.001 and R (2) = 40.4%, 48.8%, 25.4%, respectively). The current study suggests that BIA provides a relatively accurate prediction of %BF in individuals with normal weight, overweight, or obesity after the end of weight-loss program, but less accurate prediction of %BF in obese individuals at baseline or weight change during the weight-loss intervention program.

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