First, to establish the respective ability of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and relative fat mass index (RFM), to estimate body fat (BF%) measured by DXA (DXA-BF%) and correctly identify postmenopausal women living with obesity (BF% > 35). Second, to identify the best indicator of successful weight-loss intervention in postmenopausal women living with obesity.
A total of 277 women (age: 59.8 ± 5.3 y; BF%: 43.4 ± 5.3) from five weight-loss studies with complete data for anthropometric measurements [BMI = weight/height (kg/m2); WC (cm)] and BF% were pooled together. Statistical performance indicators were determined to assess ability of RFM [64−(20 × height/waist circumference) + (12 × sex)], BMI and WC to estimate BF% before and after weight-loss intervention and to correctly identify postmenopausal women living with obesity.
Compared with RFM (r = 0.51; r2 = 0.27; RMSE = 4.4%; Lin's CCC = 0.46) and WC (r = 0.49; r2 = 0.25; RMSE = 4.8%; Lin's CCC = 0.41), BMI (r = 0.73; r2 = 0.52; RMSE = 3.7%; Lin's CCC = 0.71) was the best anthropometric index to estimate DXA-BF% and correctly identify postmenopausal women living with obesity (sensitivity + specificity: BMI = 193; RFM = 152; WC = 158), with lower misclassification error, before weight-loss intervention. After weight-loss, the change in BMI was strongly correlated with change in DXA-BF%, indicating that the BMI is the best indicator of success weight-loss intervention.
In the absence of more objective measures of adiposity, BMI is a suitable proxy measure for BF% in postmenopausal women, for whom a lifestyle intervention is relevant. Furthermore, BMI can be used as an indicator to assess success of weight-loss intervention in this subpopulation.