A new anthropometric index to predict percent body fat in young adults

Hyuk In Yang, Wonhee Cho, Ki Yong Ahn, Seung Chul Shin, Ju Hwa Kim, Seoungjae Yoo, Yong In Park, Eun Young Lee, Dong Hoon Lee, John C. Spence, Justin Y. Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To propose a new anthropometric index that can be employed to better predict percent body fat (PBF) among young adults and to compare with current anthropometric indices.Design: Cross-sectional.Setting: All measurements were taken in a controlled laboratory setting in Seoul (South Korea), between 1 December 2015 and 30 June 2016.Participants: Eighty-seven young adults (18-35 years) who underwent dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) were used for analysis. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to develop a body fat index (BFI) using simple demographic and anthropometric information. Correlations of DXA measured PBF (DXA-PBF) with previously developed anthropometric indices and the BFI were analysed. Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses were conducted to compare the ability of anthropometric indices to identify obese individuals.Results: BFI showed a strong correlation with DXA-PBF (r = 0·84), which was higher than the correlations of DXA-PBF with the traditional (waist circumference, r = 0·49; waist to height ratio, r = 0·68; BMI, r = 0·36) and alternate anthropometric indices (a body shape index, r = 0·47; body roundness index, r = 0·68; body adiposity index, r = 0·70). Moreover, the BFI showed higher accuracy at identifying obese individuals (area under the curve (AUC) = 0·91), compared with the other anthropometric indices (AUC = 0·71-0·86).Conclusions: The BFI can accurately predict DXA-PBF in young adults, using simple demographic and anthropometric information that are commonly available in research and clinical settings. However, larger representative studies are required to build on our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1507-1514
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Authors 2020.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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