Anthropometry is a simple and cost-efficient method for the assessment of body composition. However prediction equations to estimate body composition using anthropometry should be ‘population-specific’. Most popular body composition prediction equations for Japanese females were proposed more than 40 years ago and there is some concern regarding their usefulness in Japanese females living today. The aim of this study was to compare percentage body fat (%BF) estimated from anthropometry and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to examine the applicability of commonly used prediction equations in young Japanese females. Body composition of 139 Japanese females aged between 18 and 27 years of age (BMI range: 15.1–29.1 kg/m2) was measured using whole-body DXA (Lunar DPX-LIQ) scans. From anthropometric measurements %BF was estimated using four equations developed from Japanese females. The results showed that the traditionally employed prediction equations for anthropometry significantly (p<0.01) underestimate %BF of young Japanese females and therefore are not valid for the precise estimation of body composition. New %BF prediction equations were proposed from the DXA and anthropometry results. Application of the proposed equations may assist in more accurate assessment of body fatness in Japanese females living today.
2007 Japan Society of Physiological Anthropology