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Vol. 1, No. 6, 2008
Issue release date: December 2008
Section title: Original Article
Obes Facts 2008;1:319–324

Accuracy of Bioelectrical Impedance Consumer Devices for Measurement of Body Composition in Comparison to Whole Body Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry

Bosy-Westphal A.a · Later W.a · Hitze B.a · Sato T.b · Kossel E.c · Glüer C.-C.c · Heller M.c · Müller M.J.a
a Institut für Humanernährung und Lebensmittelkunde, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany bOmron Healthcare Co., Ltd, Kyoto, Japan c Klinik für Diagnostische Radiologie, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel,Germany

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Objective: To compare body composition determined by bioelectrical impedance (BIA) consumer devices against criterion estimates determined by whole body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in healthy normal weight, overweight and obese adults. Methods: In 106 adults (54 females, 52 males, age 54.2 ± 16.1 years, BMI 25.8 ± 4.4 kg/m2) fat mass (FM), skeletal muscle mass (SM), total body bone-free lean mass (TBBLM), and level of visceral fat mass (VF) were estimated by 3 single-frequency bipedal (foot-to-foot) and one tretrapolar BIA device, and compared to body composition measured by MRI and DXA. Bland-Altman and simple linear regression analyses were used to determine agreement between methods. Results: %FMDXA, SMMRI or TBBLMDXA showed good relative and absolute agreement with two bipolar and one tetrapolar instrument (r2 = 0.92–0.96; all p < 0.001; mean bias <1.5 %FM and <1 kg SM or TBBLM) and less relative and absolute agreement for another bipolar device (r2 = 0.82 and 0.84, mean bias ∼3 %FM and ∼3 kg SM). The 95% limits of agreement (bias ± 2 SD) were narrowest for the tetrapolar device (–6.59 to 4.61 %FM and –4.62 to 4.74 kg SM) and widest for bipolar instruments (up to –14.54 to 8.58 %FM and –9.52 to 3.92 kg SM). Systematic biases for %FM were found for all bipedal devices, but not for the tetrapolar instrument. Conclusion: Because of the lower agreement between foot-to-foot BIA and DXA or MRI for the assessment of body composition in individuals, tetrapolar electrode arrangement should be preferred for individual or public use. Bipolar devices provide accurate results for field studies with group estimation.


Author Contacts

Dr. Anja Bosy-Westphal, Institut für Humanernährung und Lebensmittelkunde, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Düsternbrooker Weg 17, 24105 Kiel, Germany,


Article Information

Published online: December 2, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 6


Publication Details

Obesity Facts (The European Journal of Obesity)

Vol. 1, No. 6, Year 2008 (Cover Date: December 2008)

Journal Editor: Hebebrand J. (Essen)
ISSN: 1662-4025 (Print), eISSN: 1662-4033 (Online)

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Article / Publication Details

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Abstract of Original Article

Published online: 12/2/2008
Issue release date: December 2008

Number of Print Pages: 6
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 1662-4025 (Print)
eISSN: 1662-4033 (Online)

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