Validity of bioelectrical impedance equations for estimating fat-free weight in lean males

Joan M. Eckerson, Terry J. Housh, Glen O. Johnson

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The present study examined the validity of bioelectrical impedance (BJA) equations for estimating fat-free weight (FFW) in lean males (X ± SD = 9.1 ± 2.2% fat) by comparing the estimates with values obtained from underwater weighing. Sixty-eight Caucasian male volunteers served as subjects. Cross-validation analyses included examination of the constant error (CE), standard error of the estimate (SEE), r, and total error (TE). The results indicated that the equations of Oppliger et al. (16), which resulted in small TE (1.70 kg) and CE (−0.02 kg) values, most accurately estimated FFW. Simple linear regression showed that FFW was more highly correlated with body weight (BW) (r = 0.98, P<0.0001) and resulted in a lower SEE (1.68 kg) than cither height2/resistance (Ht2/R) (r = 0.81, P <0.0001; SEE = 5.12 kg) or the independent variable (weight X resistance)/height2[WR/Ht2] utilized by the manufacturer of the BIA analyzer (r = 0.15, P > 0.05; SEE = 8.59 kg). Multiple regression showed that when WR/Ht2, Ht2/R, resistance, body mass index, Ht2, and/or Ht was added to the prediction equation, which utilized BW alone, they accounted for less than 1% additional variance and reduced the SEE by SO. 16 kg. The results indicated that BW alone estimated FFW as accurately as any of the BIA equations in lean males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1298-1302
Number of pages5
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1992
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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