Use of B-Mode Ultrasound as a Body Fat Estimate in Collegiate Football Players

J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Dec;30(12):3525-3530. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001447.


Hyde, PN, Kendall, KL, Fairman, CM, Coker, NA, Yarbrough, ME, and Rossi, SJ. Utilization of B-mode ultrasound as a body fat estimate in collegiate football players. J Strength Cond Res 30(12): 3525-3530, 2016-The purpose of the present study was to validate a 7-site ultrasound imaging protocol to predict the percent body fat (%BF) in a division I football team. Body composition was estimated by ultrasound, 7-site skinfolds, and the 3-compartment-water (3C-W) model of Siri, using bioimpedance spectroscopy to estimate the total body water and air displacement plethysmography (using BODPOD) to determine the body density. Pearson's product-moment correlation analyses were run to determine correlations between ΣUltrasound and the criterion 3C-W, and between the ΣSkinfold and ΣUltrasound. Strong positive correlations were observed between ΣSkinfold and ΣUltrasound (r = 0.984; p < 0.001). Furthermore, a strong positive correlation was observed between ΣUltrasound and %BF from 3C-W (r = 0.878; p < 0.001). Based on the significant correlation analysis, a linear regression equation was developed to predict the %BF from ΣUltrasound, using %BF from the 3C-W model as the dependent variable: %BF = 6.194 + (0.096 × ΣUltrasound); standard error of the estimate (SEE) = 2.97%. Cross-validation analyses were performed using an independent sample of 29 players. The mean observed %BF from the 3C-W model and the mean predicted %BF were 18.32 ± 6.26% and 18.78 ± 6.22%, respectively. The constant error, SEE, and validity coefficient (r) were 0.87%, 2.64%, and 0.91%, respectively. The total error was 2.87%. The positive relationship between ultrasound measurements and the 3C-W model suggests that ultrasound imaging may be a practical alternative to predicting %BF in division I football players.

MeSH terms

  • Athletes*
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Water
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Football
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plethysmography, Impedance
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Skinfold Thickness*
  • Subcutaneous Fat / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Young Adult