body composition, fat tissue, lean tissue, DEXA


Quantitating fat and lean tissue in isolated body regions may be helpful or required in obesity and health-outcomes research. However, current methods of regional body composition measurement require specialized, expensive equipment such as that used in computed tomography or dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Simple body size or circumference measurement relationships to body composition have been developed but are limited to whole-body applications. We investigated relationships between body size measurements and regional body composition. Methods Using DEXA technology we determined the fat and lean tissue composition for six regions of the body in predominantly Caucasian, college-aged men (n = 32) and women (n = 67). Circumference measurements as well as body weight and height were taken for each individual. Equations relating body measurements to a respective regional fat and lean mass were developed using multiple regression analysis. Results: Multiple regression R2 values ranged from 0.4451 to 0.8953 and 0.1697 to 0.7039 for regional fat and lean mass relationships to body measurements, respectively. Conclusion: The equations developed in this study offer a simple way of estimating regional body composition in a college-aged adult population. The parameters used in the equations are common body measurements that can be obtained with the use of a measuring tape and weight scale.

Original Publication Citation

Nutrition & Metabolism, Vol. 4 (3 December 27), 29.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


BioMed Central




Life Sciences


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science