Comparison of the Bod Pod and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry in men

Physiol Meas. 2004 Jun;25(3):671-8. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/25/3/007.


The majority of studies investigating the accuracy of the Bod Pod have compared it to hydrostatic weighing (HW), the long held, and perhaps outdated 'gold standard' method of body composition analysis. Much less research has compared the Bod Pod to dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), a technique that is becoming popular as an alternative reference method. The purpose of this study was to compare per cent fat estimates by the Bod Pod to those of DXA in a large number of men. Participants were 160 men (32 +/- 11 years). Per cent body fat was estimated to be 19.4 +/- 6.8 and 21.6 +/- 8.4 for DXA and the Bod Pod, respectively. Although the two methods were highly correlated (0.94), the mean difference of 2.2% was significant (p < 0.01). The amount of difference increased as body fatness increased (p < 0.0001). The results of this study indicate that a difference between methods existed for our sample of men. It is uncertain exactly where the difference lies. Practitioners should be aware that even with the use of technologically sophisticated methods (i.e., Bod Pod, DXA), differences between methods exist and the determination of body composition is at best, an estimation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / methods*
  • Adipose Tissue / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry / methods*
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plethysmography / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity