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Asian J Sports Med. 2011 June; 2(2): 68–74.
PMCID: PMC3289197

Diagnostic Value of Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis versus Body Mass Index for Detection of Obesity among Students

Seyed-Taghi Heydari, MSc, PhD, Seyed-Mohammad-Taghi Ayatollahi, PhD, FSS, CStat,* and Najaf Zare, PhD

Abstract

Purpose

Obesity is a common nutritional problem in both developed and developing countries. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of overweightness and obesity using both bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and body mass index (BMI).

Methods

In this cross-sectional study, 288 healthy college students were selected. Socio-economic status questionnaires were completed and subjects’ anthropometric features were measured by a trained nurse. BMI was calculated and body fat mass (BFM) and body fat percent (BF%) were obtained using BIA method by hand-to-hand Omron BF-500 set.

Results

Mean age of the subjects was 21.1±1.7 years. Based on BMI, 2.6% of males and 2.2% of females were obese while 15.7% and 9.6% were diagnosed to be overweight respectively. The correlation between BMI values and BFM were 0.883 and 0.908 in males and females respectively (P<0.001). Furthermore, BF% had a significant correlation with BMI in both males and females (P<0.001).

Conclusion

Our survey demonstrated a lower prevalence of obesity and overweightness in college students compared with Iranian general population, especially in females. Additionally, BIA method was shown to be closely correlated with and as much valuable as BMI in regard to detection of obesity.

Keywords: Body Mass Index, Bioelectrical Impedance, Obesity, Students, Body Fat

Articles from Asian Journal of Sports Medicine are provided here courtesy of Kowsar Medical Institute