Agreement of skinfold measurement and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) methods with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) in estimating total body fat in Anglo-Celtic Australians Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To compare percentage total body fat (%BF) estimated by the four skinfold thickness measurement (SKF) and single-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) methods using three different sets of equations, to that assessed by the dual energy X-ray absorptiometric (DEXA) method using a Lunar DPX densitometer. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SUBJECTS: An Anglo-Celtic Australian population of 66 males and 130 females (age: 26-86 y). MEASUREMENTS: %BF by anthropometry, BIA using three different sets of equations and DEXA. RESULTS: Mean %BF assessed by DEXA (%BF(DEXA)) was similar to that estimated by SKF (%BF(SKF)) in males, while %BF(DEXA) was slightly higher in females. %BF estimated by BIA (%BF(BIA)) was significantly lower than %BF(DEXA) in females, regardless of equations used for calculation, while the level of agreement between BIA and DEXA in estimating %BF in males was dependent on prediction equations used for calculation of %BF(BIA). A better agreement was obtained from the use on the prediction equations of Segal et al (1988), compared to other two sets of equations. The agreement between SKF or BIA and DEXA declined with increasing %BF. CONCLUSIONS: There was a good agreement between DEXA and SKF, and slightly less so between DEXA and BIA, in estimating %BF in an Anglo-Celtic adult population. The agreement in most cases, however, was dependent on the degree of body fatness. In comparison to DEXA, both SKF and BIA, with the use of the equations of Segal et al (1988), are applicable to estimate %BF in an Anglo-Celtic Australian population.


  • Wattanapenpaiboon, N
  • Lukito, W
  • Strauss, BJG
  • Hsu-Hage, BH-H
  • Wahlqvist, ML
  • Stroud, DB

publication date

  • September 1998