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Validation of a portable bioelectrical impedance analyzer for the assessment of body composition

Publication: Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism
1 January 2013


One of the major challenges in field research has been the difficulty to adequately measure body composition, such as % body fat and fat-free mass (FFM). Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the convergent validity of the portable bioelectrical impedance body composition analyzer, the Inbody 230, with dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) (General Electric Lunar Prodigy). The study population consisted of 145 men and women (age, 44.6 ± 20 years; BMI, 24.5 ± 3.8 kg·m–2). We measured body composition (fat mass, % body fat, total FFM, trunk FFM, and appendicular FFM) using DXA and the Inbody 230. Results show strong significant correlations between both methods for fat mass, % body fat, total FFM, and trunk FFM (r = 0.94–0.99). Furthermore, we showed a modest significant correlation between both methods for appendicular FFM (r = 0.63). Finally, as shown by Bland–Altman analysis, no significant biases were observed between Inbody 230 and DXA for fat mass, % body fat, and total FFM. However, trunk and appendicular FFM were shown to have significant biases between the Inbody 230 and DXA. In conclusion, the present study indicated that the portable Inbody 230 may be an acceptable device to measure fat mass, % body fat, and total FFM (except for women) in healthy adults. In addition, there appears to be a systematic bias for the estimation of trunk and appendicular FFM with the Inbody 230 in men and women.


Un des défis majeurs dans la recherche sur le terrain a été la difficulté de bien mesurer la composition corporelle : le pourcentage de gras et la masse maigre, par exemple. Par conséquent, cette étude se propose d'examiner la validité de convergence de l'analyseur portable de l'impédance bioélectrique de la composition corporelle (Inbody 230) avec la technique d'absorptiométrie à rayons X en double énergie (DXA, General Electric Lunar Prodigy). L'échantillon sous étude comprend 145 femmes et hommes (âge: 44,6 ± 20 ans, IMC: 24,5 ± 3,8 kg·m–2). On évalue la composition corporelle (masse adipeuse, pourcentage de gras corporel, masse maigre totale (FFM), masse maigre du tronc et des membres) par DXA et au moyen de l'appareil Inbody 230. On observe de fortes corrélations significatives entre les deux méthodes en ce qui concerne la masse adipeuse, le pourcentage de gras, la FFM totale et celle du tronc (r = 0,94–0,99); la corrélation au sujet de la FFM des membres est modérée (r = 0,63). En dernier lieu, l'analyse de Bland-Altman ne révèle aucun biais entre les deux méthodes en ce qui concerne la masse adipeuse, le pourcentage de gras et la FFM totale; cependant, les deux méthodes présentent un biais significatif en ce qui concerne la FFM du tronc et celle des membres. En conclusion, l'appareil portable de marque Inbody 230 s'avère un outil convenable pour la mesure de la masse adipeuse, du pourcentage de gras et de la FFM totale (sauf chez les femmes) d'adultes en bonne santé. De plus, l'étude révèle un biais systématique de l'appareil Inbody 230 au sujet de l'estimation de la FFM du tronc et des membres chez des femmes et des hommes.

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Published In

cover image Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism
Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism
e-First • January 2013
Pages: 27 - 32


Received: 4 April 2012
Accepted: 30 July 2012
Version of record online: 1 January 2013


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Key Words

  1. Inbody 230
  2. dual X-ray absorptiometry
  3. % body fat
  4. fat free mass


  1. Inbody 230
  2. absorptiométrie à rayons X en double énergie
  3. pourcentage de gras
  4. masse maigre



Antony D. Karelis
Department of Kinanthropology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada; Montreal Geriatric Research Institute, Montreal, QC H3W 1W5, Canada.
Gabriel Chamberland
Department of Kinanthropology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada.
Mylène Aubertin-Leheudre
Department of Kinanthropology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada; Montreal Geriatric Research Institute, Montreal, QC H3W 1W5, Canada.
Christian Duval
Department of Kinanthropology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada; Montreal Geriatric Research Institute, Montreal, QC H3W 1W5, Canada.
Ecological mobility in Aging and Parkinson (EMAP) group

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