Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2020) 19, 577 - 584

Research article
How Length Sizes Affect Body Composition Estimation in Adolescent Athletes Using Bioelectrical Impedance
Katinka Utczás , Zsófia Tróznai, Gergely Pálinkás, Irina Kalabiska, Leonidas Petridis
Author Information
Research Center for Sport Physiology, University of Physical Education, Budapest, Hungary

Katinka Utczás
✉ University os Physical Education, Reseach Center for Sport Physiology, Budapest,1123 Alkotás u. 44, Hungary
Publish Date
Received: 06-05-2020
Accepted: 22-07-2020
Published (online): 13-08-2020
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Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is a common practice to assess body composition in athletes, however, when measuring athletes with specific body geometry, its accuracy may decrease. In this study we examined how length dimensions affect body composition estimation and we compared BIA and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) assessments in three sports. 738 male adolescent athletes (15.8 ± 1.4 years) from three sports (soccer, basketball, and handball) were measured. Body composition was estimated by BIA (InBody 720) and by DXA (Lunar Prodigy). Differences between the two methods were tested by Bland-Altman analysis and by paired t-test. ANOVA was used for inter-group comparisons. Pearson correlation and multivariate linear regression was used to look for the relationship between segmental lean body mass and length dimensions. BIAInBody 720 consistently underestimated percent body fat (PBF) and overestimated lean body mass (LBM) than DXA. The magnitude of the differences between the two methods varied among the examined sports. Handball (PBF = 8.3 ± 2.4 %; LBM = -5.0 ± 2.1 kg) and basketball players (PBF = 8.8 ± 2.3 %; LBM = -5.3 ± 1.8 kg) had significantly larger differences between the two methods than soccer players (PBF = 6.4 ± 2.2 %; LBM = -3.1 ± 1.4 kg). There was a negative correlation between differences in segmental LBM estimation and length sizes (trunk length, upper extremity length, lower extremity length). The highest correlation was found for lower extremity (r = -0.4). Longer lower extremity resulted in greater difference in LBM estimation. The differences between the sport disciplines are most probably attributed to body height differences. Length dimensions result in overestimation of LBM with BIA, thus body composition assessment with BIAInBody 720 needs to be carefully interpreted in athletes with extreme length sizes, especially, with basketball players.

Key words: Young athletes, DXA, bioimpedance method, lean mass, body fat

           Key Points
  • We examined the relationship between lengths sizes and body composition estimation.
  • Length sizes are an important characteristic in athletic population.
  • Longer length sizes and especially longer lower limbs result in overestimation of lean body mass with BIA.
  • The accuracy of BIA measurements may decrease in athletes with length dimensions and body proportions significantly different than that of the general population.
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