Prediction of body composition in premenopausal females from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry

N. J. Hansen, T. G. Lohman, S. B. Going, M. C. Hall, R. W. Pamenter, L. A. Bare, T. W. Boyden, L. B. Houtkooper

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48 Scopus citations


Four methods for predicting body composition were compared in premenopausal females (n = 100), 28-39 yr old, by using underwater weighing (UWW) as the criterion method. The four methods were dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), skinfolds, bioelectrical impedance, and body mass index. The sample had a mean percent fat (%fat) of 29.7 ± 6.8% (SD) by DEXA and 29.9 ± 5.8% measured by UWW. DEXA yielded a standard error of estimate (SE) of 2.4% (r = 0.91) for the prediction of %fat from UWW. When %fat was estimated from other methods, larger SEs were obtained: 3.0% for skinfolds, 3.3% for body mass index, and 2.9% for bioelectrical impedance (height2/resistance) plus weight. Individual body density values derived from UWW were corrected for bone mineral variation. DEXA predicted the corrected body density with a lower SE (0.0040 vs. 0.0053 g/ml) than the original density values. We conclude that DEXA was a precise method and correlated highly with fat-free body weight and %fat from UWW in this homogeneous female sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1637-1641
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993


  • body density
  • body fat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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