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Body composition: the fat-free mass index (FFMI) and the body fat mass index (BFMI) distribution among the adult Austrian population - results of a cross-sectional pilot study

Babak Bahadori  Uitz E  Tonninger Bahadori K  Pestemer Lach I  Trummer M  Thonhofer  Brath H  Schaflinger E

International Journal of Body Composition Research 2006 Vol. 4 No. 3: 123 - 128

OBJECTIVE: It has been proven that low and high body mass index (BMI) values increase health risks and mortality, and are associated with variations in fat-free mass (FFM) and body fat mass (BF). Fat-free mass index (FFMI; kg/m2) however are better measures of body composition. FFMI and BFMI being age-, sex- and population specific, are more exact and informative measures. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine FFMI and BFMI values in subjects with normal, overweight, and obese BMI in Austria.

METHODS: We measured the levels of FFM and BF in 153 healthy Caucasian men and 451 healthy Caucasian women between the ages of 18 to 80 years, using multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis. FFMI, BFMI, and %BF were then calculated for each subject.

RESULTS: Predicted FFMI values were 18.1 to 21.7 kg/m2 for men and 15.1 to 17 kg/m2 for women within the normal BMI ranges of 18.5-24.9 kg/m2). Predicted BFMI values were 1.5 to 5.0 kg/m2 for men and 3.4 to 8.0 kg/m2 for women within the normal BMI ranges. BFMI values were above 8.0 and 11.7 kg/m2 in men and women, respectively, for obese BMI (>30 kg/m2). Normal ranges for %BF were 11.9 to 22.7 and 20.8 to 31.0 for men and women, respectively.

CONCLUSION: A major finding of this study was that significant number of individuals had a lower FFMI and a higher FMI than predicted for their weight indicating the necessity of body composition measurements in ht clinical practice to optimize diagnosis and treatment.

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