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Relationship of body mass index to percent body fat determined by deuterium isotopic dilution and impedancemetry among Tunisian schoolchildren

Ben Jemaa Houda
Khlifi Sarra
Inchirah Karmous
Jamoussi Henda
El Kari Khalid
Aguenaou Hassan
Aouidet Abdallah
Mankaï Amani


Objectives: This study aims to evaluate the relation of body mass index (BMI) to fat mass among children by two techniques
impedancemetry and deuterium oxide dilution (D2O).

Methods: This study was carried out in 156 schoolchildren aged between 8 and 11 years. The children received interrogation
specifying lifestyle and food habits. Body composition was determined using the impedancemetry and D2O technique.

Results: The results showed a difference between the percentage of obese and overweight children according to BMIZ classification
(30.1%), bioelectrical impedance method (14.7%) and D2O technique (42.9%). Despite the difference between the last
two classifications, we found a significant correlation between body fat percentages determined by impedancemetry and D2O
technique (r = 0.695, p<0.01). Bioelectrical impedance analysis underestimated %BF by 78.02% in overall children, by 70.05%
in boys and by 84.73% in girls compared to D2O technique.

Conclusion: This study has demonstrated that the percentage of overweight and obesity varied according the methods used.
Further development of body composition methods is needed in children for the real determination of the obesity prevalence
and therefore a better monitoring of this public health problem.

Keywords: BMI; body fat; deuterium isotopic dilution; impedancemetry; obesity.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1729-0503
print ISSN: 1680-6905