Estimation of body fat from skinfold thicknesses in middle‐aged and older men and women: A multiple component approach

Daniel P. Williams, Scott B Going, Timothy G Lohman, Michael J. Hewitt, Ann E. Haber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The relationship of skinfold thicknesses and body density to body fatness was assessed, and skinfold prediction equations were developed for the estimation of body fatness determined from measures of body density, total body water, and bone mineral in a sample of 91 males and 116 females aged 34–84 years. For a given skinfold thickness, adjustment for individual deviations in the water and bone mineral fractions of the fat‐free body assumed constant by traditional body composition models resulted in absolute reductions in overstimates of body fatness from 4.5 to 1.9% in females and from 2.8 to 1.7% in males for every 15 year increase in age. Percentage fat from density, water, and bone was estimated from skinfold thicknesses with SEEs of 2.9% in males and 3.8% in females. When compared to percentage fat from our multicomponent‐derived criterion, percentage fat from body density and a two‐component model resulted in individual errors ranging from underestimates of 5.6% fat to overestimates of 14.0% fat. The multicomponent prediction equations presented herein should produce more valid estimates of body composition in middle‐aged and older men and women than equations based on two‐component models. © 1992 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-605
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimation of body fat from skinfold thicknesses in middle‐aged and older men and women: A multiple component approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this