Journal of Applied Physiology

Bioelectrical impedance estimation of fat-free body mass in children and youth: a cross-validation study

L. B. Houtkooper, S. B. Going, T. G. Lohman, A. F. Roche, M. Van Loan


The purposes of this study were to develop and cross-validate the “best” prediction equations for estimating fat-free body mass (FFB) from bioelectrical impedance in children and youth. Predictor variables included height2/resistance (RI) and RI with anthropometric data. FFB was determined from body density (underwater weighing) and body water (deuterium dilution) (FFB-DW) and from age-corrected density equations, which account for variations in FFB water and bone content. Prediction equations were developed using multiple regression analyses in the validation sample (n = 94) and cross-validated in three other samples (n = 131). R2 and standard error of the estimate (SEE) values ranged from 0.80 to 0.95 and 1.3 to 3.7 kg, respectively. The four samples were then combined to develop a recommended equation for estimating FFB from three regression models. R2 and SEE values and coefficients of variation from these regression equations ranged from 0.91 to 0.95, 2.1 to 2.9 kg, and 5.1 to 7.0%, respectively. As a result of all cross-validation analyses, we recommend the equation FFB-DW = 0.61 RI + 0.25 body weight + 1.31, with a SEE of 2.1 kg and adjusted R2 of 0.95. This study demonstrated that RI with body weight can predict FFB with good accuracy in Whites 10–19 yr old.