Practical Considerations for Body Composition Assessment of Adults with Class II/III Obesity Using Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis or Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry
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Purpose of Review
The purpose of this review is to explore the practical considerations for body composition assessment of adults with class II/III obesity. Studies assessing adults (18–64 years) with a body mass index (BMI) ≥35 kg/m2 with bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and/or dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) were included.
Twelve studies met inclusion criteria. Five considerations were identified: variances in equipment and technology, equipment weight capacity, subject positioning, tissue penetration, and total body hydration. In subjects with BMI ≥35 kg/m2, BIA overestimated fat-free mass with scaling errors as BMI increased. DXA provided accurate and reliable body composition measures, but equipment-related barriers prevented assessment of some taller, wider, and heavier subjects.
BIA is an unreliable method to assess body composition in class II/III obesity. Advancements in DXA technology (e.g., iDXA), methodology (e.g., subject positioning, longer scan times), and more inclusive testing criteria (e.g., use equipment limits not just BMI) may improve access and understanding of body composition in this cohort.
The authors appreciate the support of Drs. Catherine Field and Sarah Elliott for their review of an earlier draft of the manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Carlene A. Johnson Stoklossa, Mary Forhan, Raj S. Padwal, Maria Cristina Gonzalez, and Carla M. Prado declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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