Are Ethnic and Gender Specific Equations Needed to Derive Fat Free Mass from Bioelectrical Impedance in Children of South Asian, Black African-Caribbean and White European Origin? Results of the Assessment of Body Composition in Children Study

Plosone:  10/18/13

Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is a potentially valuable method for assessing lean mass and body fat levels in children from different ethnic groups. We examined the need for ethnic- and gender-specific equations for estimating fat free mass (FFM) from BIA in children from different ethnic groups and examined their effects on the assessment of ethnic differences in body fat.


Cross-sectional study of children aged 8–10 years in London Primary schools including 325 South Asians, 250 black African-Caribbeans and 289 white Europeans with measurements of height, weight and arm-leg impedance (Z; Bodystat 1500). Total body water was estimated from deuterium dilution and converted to FFM. Multilevel models were used to derive three types of equation {A: FFM = linear combination(height+weight+Z); B: FFM = linear combination(height2/Z); C: FFM = linear combination(height2/Z+weight)}. Read More