Comparison of Circumference Measures and Height–Weight Tables With Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry Assessment of Body Composition in R.O.T.C. Cadets

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Department or Administrative Unit

Nutrition Exercise and Health Sciences

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Height–weight tables and circumference measures are used by the U.S. Army to predict body composition because they require little equipment or expertise. However, agreement between the Army's new 2002 circumference equation and an established laboratory technique has not been determined. The purpose of this study was to quantify agreement in body fat percentages between the Army's circumference measures (taping) and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA); second to determine categorical agreement between height–weight tables and DXA. Male Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) cadets (N = 23; 20.6 ± 1.6 years, 179.1 ± 6.6 cm; 81.4 ± 10.3 kg) were taped according to Army protocol to predict body fat. The % body fat prediction was compared with DXA through a Bland-Altman Plot with ±2–4% body fat established as a zone of agreement (ZOA). Thirteen out of 23 cadets fell outside the ZOA. No cadet was over the compliance threshold (20–22% fat) using the tape method, however, with DXA, 7 out of 23 cadets were noncompliant. Height–weight tables provided a moderate level of categorical agreement with DXA. The results depict poor agreement between taping and DXA, as taping generally underestimated % body fat. Compared with taping, height–weight tables were better able to identify excess fat weight.


This article was originally published in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research


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