Background: Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is a widely used method to assess total body fat (TBF) depots characterising obesity. Automated BIA devices provide an inexpensive and easy assessment of TBF, making them widely available to the general public and healthcare providers without specific qualification to assess body composition. The equations included in the automated BIA devices have been developed in very few specific populations, which means that they are not suitable to assess TBF for everyone and need to be validated before use in other populations. The aim of the present work is to evaluate the accuracy of the automated BIA device Tanita® BC-532 in youth of White European ethnicity, compared with the dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), gold standard measurement of TBF. Methods: Total body fat percentage (TBF%) was measured with the BIA device Tanita® BC-532 and DEXA (Hologic® QDR4500W) in 197 youth of White European ethnicity (N = 104 girls), 7-17 years old, and visiting the Diabetes & Endocrinology Care Paediatrics Clinic, Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg, for overweight or obesity management. Results: TBF% evaluated with BIA was significantly correlated with TBF% measured with DEXA in both boys (r Pearson = 0.617) and girls (r Pearson = 0.648) (p < 10− 4). However, the residual mean between the assessment of TBF% by BIA and by DEXA [TBF BIA (%)-TBF DEXA (%)] is extremely high (mean ± standard deviation = 10.52% ± 5.22% in boys, respectively 9.96% ± 4.40% in girls). The maximal absolute residual value is also very high, about 24% in both genders. Conclusions: The automated BIA device Tanita® BC-532 appears to be not accurate to assess total body fat in youth with overweight or obesity. There is a need to calibrate the BIA device before its use in the populations where it was not previously validated.
- Adiposity, Body mass index, Overweight, Obesity, Fat mass, Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, Bioimpedance