Reliability and intermethod agreement for body fat assessment among two field and two laboratory methods in adolescents

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Jan;20(1):221-8. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.272. Epub 2011 Aug 25.


To increase knowledge about reliability and intermethods agreement for body fat (BF) is of interest for assessment, interpretation, and comparison purposes. It was aimed to examine intra- and inter-rater reliability, interday variability, and degree of agreement for BF using air-displacement plethysmography (Bod-Pod), dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), and skinfold measurements in European adolescents. Fifty-four adolescents (25 females) from Zaragoza and 30 (14 females) from Stockholm, aged 13-17 years participated in this study. Two trained raters in each center assessed BF with Bod-Pod, DXA, BIA, and anthropometry (DXA only in Zaragoza). Intermethod agreement and reliability were studied using a 4-way ANOVA for the same rater on the first day and two additional measurements on a second day, one each rater. Technical error of measurement (TEM) and percentage coefficient of reliability (%R) were also reported. No significant intrarater, inter-rater, or interday effect was observed for %BF for any method in either of the cities. In Zaragoza, %BF was significantly different when measured by Bod-Pod and BIA in comparison with anthropometry and DXA (all P < 0.001). The same result was observed in Stockholm (P < 0.001), except that DXA was not measured. Bod-Pod, DXA, BIA, and anthropometry are reliable for %BF repeated assessment within the same day by the same or different raters or in consecutive days by the same rater. Bod-Pod showed close agreement with BIA as did DXA with anthropometry; however, Bod-Pod and BIA presented higher values of %BF than anthropometry and DXA.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon*
  • Adipose Tissue*
  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electric Impedance*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plethysmography*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Skinfold Thickness*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • White People