Comparative assessment of anthropometric and bioimpedence methods for determining adiposity

David Adedia, Adjoa A. Boakye, Daniel Mensah, Sylvester Y. Lokpo, Innocent Afeke, Kwabena O. Duedu*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (SciVal)


    BACKGROUND: Obesity is a risk factor for different chronic conditions. Over the years, obesity has become a pandemic and it is therefore important that effective diagnostic tools are developed. Obesity is a measure of adiposity and it has become increasingly evident that anthropometric measures such as body mass index (BMI) used to estimate adiposity are inadequate. This study therefore examined the ability of different anthropometric measurements to diagnose obesity within a cross-section of Ghanaian women. METHODS: We obtained anthropometric measurements and used that to generate derived measures of adiposity such as body adiposity index (BAI) and conicity index. Furthermore we also measured adiposity using a bioimpedance analyser. Associations between these measurements and percentage body fat (%BF) were drawn in order to determine the suitability of the various measures to predict obesity. The prevalence of obesity was determined using both %BF and BMI. RESULTS: BMI, Waist and hip circumference and visceral fat (VF) were positively correlated with % BF whereas skeletal muscle mass was negatively correlated. Prevalence of obesity was 16% and 31.6% using BMI and %BF respectively. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis showed that these differences in prevalence was due to BMI based misclassification of persons who have obesity as overweight. Similar, shortfalls were observed for the other anthropometric measurements using ROC. CONCLUSIONS: No single measure investigated could adequately predict obesity as an accumulation of fat using current established cut-off points within our study population. Large scale epidemiological studies are therefore needed to define appropriate population based cut-off points if anthropometric measurements are to be employed in diagnosing obesity within a particular population.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere05740
    Pages (from-to)e05740
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - Dec 2020


    K. Duedu was supported by the African Partnership for Chronic Disease Research (APCDR) , University of Cambridge Postdoctoral Fellowship.

    FundersFunder number
    University of Cambridge


      • Body adiposity index
      • Body fat percentage
      • Body mass index
      • Conicity index
      • Obesity status
      • Visceral fat
      • Waist-to-hip ratio


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