Hydrodensitometry Air Plethysmography

One of the oldest methods of measuring body composition, the determination of body volume by water displacement (Archimedes principle) allows for the estimation of fat-free mass (FFM) density (where an assumption is made that densities of fat and FFM are constant) from which percent body fat is calculated using a two-compartment body composition model. Today there are a number of additional methods for measuring body volume, including air displacement plethysmography. Limitations with this approach include the assumptions of stable densities of fat and FFM across the age range where this may not be true in older individuals and across race/ethnic groups where it is now known that the density of FFM in Blacks is higher.

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