Predictive accuracy of skinfold equations for estimating body density of African-American women

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Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to compare the predictive accuracy of previously published skinfold (SKF) equations for estimating body density of 134 premenopausal African-American women (18 to 40 yr).

Methods:

The equations cross-validated were: the sum of seven skinfolds equation (JPW7) and the sum of three skinfolds equation (JPW3), both of Jackson et al.(1980); the generalized equation (DWgen) and the age-specific equation (DWage) of Durnin and Womersley (1974); and the equation of Wang et al. (1994). Total body density was determined by hydrodensitometry (BDuww) at residual lung volume and converted to %BFuww using the Siri (1991) formula. The predictive accuracy of the SKF equations tested in this study was evaluated using the cross-validation procedures outlined by Lohman (1992).

Results:

The validity coefficients (ry,y′) ranged from 0.83 (DWgen) to 0.87 (JPW7). The SEEs ranged from 0.0076 g·cc−1 (DWage) to 0.0122 g·cc−1 (Wang), and the total errors ranged from 0.0103 g·cc−1 (JPW7) to 0.0478 g·cc−1 (Wang). The percentage of individual residual scores falling within ± 3.5%BF for this sample ranged from 31% (DWage) to 58% for the JPW7 equation. Comparison of the predictive accuracy of the five equations indicated that the JPW7 equation was the most valid equation, explaining 75% of the variance in reference body density with no significant difference between average reference BDuww (1.03035 g·cc−1) and average predicted BDJPW7 (1.03152 g·cc−1).

Conclusions:

We recommend using the JPW7 equation to assess body composition and %BF of premenopausal African-American women.

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