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Measurement agreement in percent body fat estimates among laboratory and field assessments in college students: Use of equivalence testing
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The purpose of this study was to examine the agreement in percent body fat estimates among 7 laboratory and field assessments against dual-emission x-ray absorptiometry using equivalence testing. Participants were 437 college students (mean age = 19.2 +/- 0.6 years). Dual-emission x-ray absorptiometry was used as the criterion with hydrostatic weighing, skinfold thickness, air displacement plethysmography, near infrared reactance, and three methods of bioelectrical impedance analysis examined as surrogate assessments. Relative agreement was examined using intraclass correlation coefficients. Group level agreement was examined using equivalence testing. Individual-level agreement was assessed using Mean Absolute Percent Error and Bland-Altman Plots. Single measure intraclass correlation coefficient scores ranged from 0.71-0.80. Hydrostatic weighing, skin-fold thickness, air displacement plethysmography, and 4-electrode bioelectrical impedance analysis showed statistical equivalence with the criterion using a 10% Equivalence Interval with absolute mean differences ranging from 1.0%-4.9% body fat. Mean Absolute Percent Error ranged from 11.7% using skinfold thickness to 21.9% using Omron (hand-held) bioelectrical impedance analysis. Limits of Agreement were heteroscedastic across the range of mean scores compared to dual-emission x-ray absorptiometry, with greater mean differences observed at higher levels of percent body fat. Hydrostatic weighing, skinfold thickness, air displacement plethysmography, and 4-electrode bioelectrical impedance analysis showed strong evidence for statistical equivalence with dual-emission x-ray absorptiometry in a sample of college students.