Objective: To determine the effect of gender on the ability to accurately estimate one’s own body fat percentage. Participants: Fifty-five college-age males and 99 college-age females Methods: Participants estimated their own body fat percent before having their body composition measured using a BOD POD. Participants also completed a modified Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS). Results: Estimated body fat was significantly lower compared to measured body fat percent in females (26.8±5.6% vs. 30.2±7.0%, p<0.001) but not in males (16.8±6.8% vs. 18.1±8.3%, p=0.09). The mean difference between estimated and measured body fat was significantly higher for females compared to males (p<0.001). There was a moderate, significant correlation found between measured body fat percent and SPAS score for males (r=0.331, p=0.014) and females (r=.427, p<0.001). Conclusions: Males estimated their body fat percent more accurately than females. Despite these findings, 62% of males and 76% of females underestimated their body fat.
Hancock, Halley L.; Jung, Alan P.; and Petrella, John K.
"Self-estimation of Body Fat is More Accurate in College-age Males Compared to Females,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 5
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol5/iss1/8