The Tanita body-fat analyser is a novel device to estimate body fat, based on the principles of bioelectrical impedance. It differs from other impedance systems which use surface electrodes in that the subjects stand bare-footed on a metal sole-plate which incorporates the electrodes, hence impedance is measured through the legs and lower trunk. In 104 men and 101 women (16-78 years and BMI 16-41 kg/m2) the mean bias in body-fat mass measured using the Tanita body-fat analyser was 0.8 (2SD 7.9) kg relative to a four-compartment model. This is comparable to the other prediction techniques tested (conventional tetrapolar impedance -1.3 (2SD 6.9) kg, skinfold thicknesses 0.3 (2SD 7.4) kg, and BMI-based formulas -0.2 (2SD 9.0) kg and -0.6 (2SD 8.5) kg), but the agreement was poorer than for 'reference' methods to measure body fat (density 0.2 (2SD 3.7) kg, total body water -0.9 (2SD 3.4) kg and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry 0.1 (2SD 5.0) kg). The present paper also describes the derivation of a new prediction equation for the calculation of body composition from the Tanita body-fat analyser. The equation incorporates sex, age, and a log-transformation of height, weight and the measured impedance to predict body fat measured by a four-compartment model. This approach is recommended in the derivation of other prediction equations in body composition analysis. Using this novel prediction equation the residual standard deviations were 4.8% for men and 3.3% for women. A similar analysis using data collected with a conventional tetrapolar system yielded residual standard deviations of 4.3% for men and 3.1% for women. This demonstrates that the practical simplicity of the novel Tanita method is not associated with a clinically significant decrement in performance relative to a traditional impedance device.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Br J Nutr

Publication Date

02/2000

Volume

83

Pages

115 - 122

Keywords

Absorptiometry, Photon, Adipose Tissue, Adolescent, Adult, Age Distribution, Aged, Algorithms, Anthropometry, Body Composition, Body Mass Index, Body Water, Electric Impedance, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Regression Analysis, Reproducibility of Results, Sex Distribution, Skinfold Thickness