Integrative Body Composition Assessment – The Method
Advantages of this Method
• Portability of equipment
• Low cost
• Only 3 measurement sites (at wrists and waist)
• Easy to learn and non-invasive
• Friendly on overweight and older individuals
• Safe to use on clients with electrical implants
• No exercise or hydration restrictions
• High test-retest reliability
• Time saving with returning clients
• Elegant and informative print-outs that can also be e-mailed to your client
The results calculated by IBC method are:
• Fat percentage
• Fat-free percentage
• Fat-free mass
• Healthy weight range
• Body fat rating
The creation of IBC Assessment started from an old Swedish method of assessing body composition. This old method was invented by Swedish renowned professor of physiology Wilhelm von Döbeln. Looking for a solution to avoid the difficulties in measuring skinfold, von Döbeln discovered that the average fat-free mass of a person can be related to diameters of their joints. From here he created an equation that would relate a person average fat-free mass to their height, weight and wrists and knees diameters. Health Profile Institute Sweden has used this method as part of their complete Health Profile Assessment for over 30 years.
However due to the time when professor von Döbeln did his research, data to support the validity of his method is no longer accessible. Therefore Health Profile Institute US decided to launch a new research study to prove the validity of this method, or even improve it. This study has been performed in collaboration with the Exercise Physiology Lab of UNLV (The University of Nevada, Las Vegas) and has been finalized in July 2012. This new study showed that a person’s body fat percentage can be established with even higher accuracy when taking into consideration also their waist circumference and exercise routine. From here a new method was born – The Integrative Body Composition Assessment
IBC Tools (Equipment List)
The necessary equipment to perform an IBC Assessment is:
• Caliper for measuring wrist diameters
• Measuring tape for wrist circumference
• Scale for measuring weight
• Height rod for height measurement
• IBC software for calculating results (only available for Microsoft Windows)
Studies and Accuracy
HPI and the Exercise Physiology Program at UNLV have been conducting a study to determine if assessment of body composition using a proprietary caliper in conjunction with a regression equation would correlate with well established and recognized techniques of body composition.
Since January of 2011, the research staff at UNLV has collected anthropometric data on a total of 175 participants varying in race and age. Techniques used in this project to determine body composition include the gold standard of hydrostatic weighing (underwater weighing), the Bod Pod, and bioelectrical impedance (BIA). The caliper designed by HPI was used to obtain skeletal breadth measurements as directed by HPI specifications and data was used to predict percent fat.
Comparison with Underwater Weighing, BOD POD and BIA
PASW Statistics 18 software was to analyze the data for validity using Pearson’s r and reliability using intra-class correlations among the aforementioned techniques. Final statistical analysis reveals that the HPI method for determination of percent body fat is valid and correlates significantly with the Bod Pod, BIA, and hydrostatic weighing methods (.69, .74, & .86, respectively). Moreover, when hydrostatic weighing is used as the reference standard, the HPI method was more valid compared with the BIA and Bod Pod methods (.83 & .72, respectively). In general, a correlation of .80 or higher is considered a strong correlation; a correlation of 1 is considered “perfect”. Intra-class correlation revealed that the HPI method is reliable as an alternative method to hydrostatic weighing in the determination of percent body fat (R = 0.977). These data suggest that the HPI method generates results comparable with other well established and popular methods of body composition and therefore, may be a useful, alternative tool for healthcare and fitness professionals to estimate body composition in apparently healthy adults.
Test – Re-Test Reliability
The test-retest reliability of the Osteo Caliper method shows a correlation of .97 between 3 sets of measurements of the same subjects. In general, a correlation of .80 or higher is considered “strong correlation”; a correlation of 1 is considered “perfect”.
Ease of Learning the Method
The correlation between one experienced and one novice Osteo Caliper users measuring the same subjects was .97. This shows that even a user that was newly introduced to this method can perform accurate measurements.
These data were presented at the annual American College of Sports Medicine scientific meeting in San Francisco, CA, 2012 and was well received. The Abstract appears in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (44: 5 S504). A manuscript was submitted to Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport.
HPI is currently looking at establishing new contacts with universities or research bodies in US or abroad for further studying the IBC method.
Comparison with Other Methods for Assessing Body Composition*
Rating explanation: * is the least desirable, ***** is optimal.
*The above comparison refers to an average situation and is based on recent research. Variations may exist for various test populations or set-ups.
The Integrative Body Composition assessment using the HPI IBC Kit may not be accurate for each individual. Miscalculations of the body composition or healthy weight range may appear. HPI Health Profile Institute is not responsible for the consequences of inaccurate results. HPI also declines any responsibility for improper use of the IBC tools. HPI disclaims all warranties express and implied.