The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate three bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) prediction models for fat-free mass (FFM) using the U.S. National Women’s Gymnastics team (N = 48; age = 15.8 ± 1.8 years). One model had been developed recently using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) as the criterion measure, whereas the other two used hydrodensitometry. In this investigation, FFM predictions were compared with measures obtained via DEXA. FFM measured by DEXA averaged 40.5 ± 7.4 kg (± SD), whereas values generated using the three BIA models were within 0.8 kg of this actual measure. Validity coefficients for all models were high (Rxy = .95-98). FFM prediction error was lowest with the model using DEXA as the criterion measure (1.3 kg) compared with the other two (1.9 and 2.4 kg). All BIA models underpredicted FFM in the heaviest girls, and the Lohman and Van Loan et al. models overpredicted FFM in the lightest girls. Whereas prediction error was significantly correlated to the girls’ bone mineral density in all BIA models, this relationship was strongest in the two that were developed using hydrodensitometry.
Bauer and Pivarnik are with the Department of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, 3 IM Sports Circle, East Lansing, MI, 48823; Fornetti and Nassar are with MSU Sportsmedicine, 2900 Hannah Boulevard, East Lansing, MI 48823; Jallo is with the University of Arkansas, Athletic Training, 306 HPER, Fayettville, AR 72701.