Percent body fat estimations in college women using field and laboratory methods: A three-compartment model approach

Jordan R. Moon, Holly R. Hull, Sarah E. Tobkin, Masaru Teramoto, Murat Karabulut, Michael D. Roberts, Eric D. Ryan, So Jung Kim, Vincent J. Dalbo, Ashley A. Walter, Abbie T. Smith, Joel T. Cramer, Jeffrey R. Stout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Methods used to estimate percent body fat can be classified as a laboratory or field technique. However, the validity of these methods compared to multiple-compartment models has not been fully established. This investigation sought to determine the validity of field and laboratory methods for estimating percent fat (%fat) in healthy college-age women compared to the Siri three-compartment model (3C). Methods: Thirty Caucasian women (21.1 ± 1.5 yrs; 164.8 ± 4.7 cm; 61.2 ± 6.8 kg) had their %fat estimated by BIA using the BodyGram™ computer program (BIA-AK) and population-specific equation (BIA-Lohman), NIR (Futrex® 6100/XL), a quadratic (SF3JPW) and linear (SF3WB) skinfold equation, air-displacement plethysmography (BP), and hydrostatic weighing (HW). Results: All methods produced acceptable total error (TE) values compared to the 3C model. Both laboratory methods produced similar TE values (HW, TE = 2.4%fat; BP, TE = 2.3%fat) when compared to the 3C model, though a significant constant error (CE) was detected for HW (1.5%fat, p ≤ 0.006). The field methods produced acceptable TE values ranging from 1.8 - 3.8 %fat. BIA-AK (TE = 1.8%fat) yielded the lowest TE among the field methods, while BIA-Lohman (TE = 2.1%fat) and NIR (TE = 2.7%fat) produced lower TE values than both skinfold equations (TE > 2.7%fat) compared to the 3C model. Additionally, the SF3JPW %fat estimation equation resulted in a significant CE (2.6%fat, p ≤ 0.007). Conclusion: Data suggest that the BP and HW are valid laboratory methods when compared to the 3C model to estimate %fat in college-age Caucasian women. When the use of a laboratory method is not feasible, NIR, BIA-AK, BIA-Lohman, SF3JPW, and SF3WB are acceptable field methods to estimate %fat in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
StatePublished - Nov 7 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Percent body fat estimations in college women using field and laboratory methods: A three-compartment model approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this