The purpose of this investigation was to compare two different methods of assessing body composition (i.e., a multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (MF-BIA) and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA)) over a four-week treatment period in exercise-trained men and women. Subjects were instructed to reduce their energy intake while maintaining the same exercise regimen for a period of four weeks. Pre and post assessments for body composition (i.e., fat-free mass, fat mass, percent body fat) were determined via the MF-BIA and DXA. On average, subjects reduced their energy intake by ~18 percent. The MF-BIA underestimated fat mass and percentage body fat and overestimated fat-free mass in comparison to the DXA. However, when assessing the change in fat mass, fat-free mass or percent body fat, there were no statistically significant differences between the MF-BIA vs. DXA. Overall, the change in percent body fat using the DXA vs. the MF-BIA was -1.3 ± 0.9 and -1.4 ± 1.8, respectively. Our data suggest that when tracking body composition over a period of four weeks, the MF-BIA may be a viable alternative to the DXA in exercise-trained men and women.
Keywords: body composition; diet; exercise; exercise-trained; fat mass; fat-free mass.