International Journal of Exercise Science 13(7): 1275-1282, 2020. The aim of this study was to compare body fat percentage (BF%) of women measured using the U.S. Army standard body composition assessment (ABC) and two common laboratory measures of body composition to evaluate the efficacy of ABC within this population. The BF% of 27 women (21.5 ± 1.8 years) was assessed using the 7-site skinfold, air plethysmography, and ABC measurements. The initial physical fitness test (IPFT) was used to determine if participants met the criteria required for admittance into basic combat training. A repeated measures ANOVA identified differences in BF% between the three assessment methods, (F (2, 52) = 22.83, p < .001, η2p = .47). Pairwise comparisons revealed that mean BF% obtained using the ABC (29.3 ± 7.7 %) was significantly higher (p = .042) than BF% measured using air plethysmography (26.9 ± 8.4 %). ABC and air plethysmography measured BF% was significantly higher (both p < .001) than BF% obtained from skinfold assessment (22.2 ± 5.9 %). Of the 27 total participants, 4 (14.8%) passed IPFT but failed to meet the Army body composition standards using the ABC method. The primary findings of this study suggest that the overestimation of BF% by the ABC method could lead to an unnecessary delay in enlistment for women approaching the upper threshold of the Army’s acceptable body composition standards. Alternative methods of assessing body composition in this population should be explored. However, skinfold assessment does not appear to be a suitable alternative to the ABC.
Tedford, Adam G.; Pribyslavska, Veronika; Bryant, Lance G.; and Scudamore, Eric M.
"A Comparative Analysis Of Army Body Composition Standards For Women,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 13
7, Pages 1275 - 1282.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol13/iss7/8