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To develop a new predictive equation for fat mass percentage (%FM) based on anthropometric measurements and to assess its ability to discriminate between obese and non-obese individuals.
Adults (n 275; 181 women) aged 20–63 years with BMI between 17·4 and 42·4 kg/m2.
Thirty-seven per cent of our sample was obese using %FM measured by air-displacement plethysmography (BOD POD®; Life Measurement Instruments). The fat mass was computed from the difference between weight and fat-free mass (FFM). FFM was estimated using an equation obtained previously in the study from weight, height and sex of the individuals. The %FM estimated from the obtained FFM showed a sensitivity of 90·3 (95 % CI 86·8, 93·8) % and a specificity of 58·0 (95 % CI 52·1, 63·8) % in the diagnosis of obesity. Ninety-three per cent of participants with obesity and 65 % of participants without obesity were correctly classified.
The anthropometry-based equation obtained in the present study could be used as a screening tool in clinical and epidemiological studies not only to estimate the %FM, but also to discriminate the obese condition in populations with similar characteristics to the participant sample.
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