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Original articles  BODY COMPOSITION, SPORT NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTATION (ergogenics) 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2006 September;46(3):442-6

Copyright © 2006 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Estimation of body fat in athletes: skinfolds vs bioelectrical impedance

Ostojic S. M.

Institute of Sports Medicine, Sports Academy Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro


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Aim. The aim of the present study was to compare two different field methods (skinfolds(SKF(vs bioimpedance analysis(BIA) for estimation of body fatness in top-level athletes.
Methods. This study was conducted with 219 male professional athletes who were recruited during preparticipation physical examination. Skinfold thicknesses at 7 sites were obtained using a Harpenden caliper while total body resistance was measured with a foot-pad bioelectrical impedance analyzer at a fixed signal frequency of 50 kHz and 500 µA.
Results. The athletes showed non-significant difference in body fat percentage (%BF) between the average %BFSKF and %BFBIA (P>0.05). Average time of assessment per subject was significantly longer during skinfold measurement (P<0.01) as compared with BIA assessment.
Conclusions. We found that the estimates of body fat were similar between SKF and BIA with significant correlation (r=0.96) between methods while BIA method is less time-consuming. In conclusion, the most simple, quick, and inexpensive method of BIA seems to be very useful to the dietitians’ routine for assessing body fat in physically active individuals and athletes.

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