Body Fat Content Determination in Premenopausal, Overweight, and Obese Young Women Using DXA and FT-NIR
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Even though BMI is the most commonly used method for assessing and monitoring obesity, it does not take into account the individual's body fat content assuming instead that body mass is closely associated with body fat, which is a tenuous assumption. The aim of this study was to make a direct comparison between measurements of body fat content using a convenient and rapid Fourier transform near-infrared (FT-NIR) spectroscopy and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). We recruited 52, premenopausal women (age range 19-45), all of whom had a BMI that classified them as either overweight or obese (range: 27-40 kg/m(2), mean: 31.1 ± 3.7 kg/m(2)) and indicated a statistically significant linear relationship between the fat content in kilograms measured by FT-NIR and DXA (r = 0.95, P < 0.001). Bland-Altman analysis showed that almost all the differences between two measurements fell within 2 s.d. We report here that the FT-NIR method provided comparable measurements of subcutaneous body fat content similar to those of total fat obtained using DXA. The FT-NIR method is a lower cost, easy to use and transport, and, based on comparison with DXA, an accurate method to measure body fat content. We propose that FT-NIR is an ideal method for safe repeat measurements in large trials or in screening and monitoring individuals during interventions in which changes in body fat will occur.
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