Relationship between body fat and BMI in a US hispanic population-based cohort study: Results from HCHS/SOL

William W. Wong, Garrett Strizich, Moonseong Heo, Steven B. Heymsfield, John H. Himes, Cheryl L. Rock, Marc D. Gellman, Anna Maria Siega-Riz, Daniela Sotres-Alvarez, Sonia M. Davis, Elva M. Arredondo, Linda Van Horn, Judith Wylie-Rosett, Lisa Sanchez-Johnsen, Robert C. Kaplan, Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the percentage of body fat (%BF)-BMI relationship, identify %BF levels corresponding to adult BMI cut points, and examine %BF-BMI agreement in a diverse Hispanic/Latino population. Methods: %BF by bioelectrical impedance analysis was corrected against %BF by 18O dilution in 434 participants of the ancillary Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. Corrected %BF was regressed against 1/BMI in the parent study (n = 15,261), fitting models for each age group, by sex, and Hispanic/Latino background; predicted %BF was then computed for each BMI cut point. Results: Bioelectrical impedance analysis underestimated %BF by 8.7 ± 0.3% in women and 4.6 ± 0.3% in men (P <0.0001). The %BF-BMI relationship was nonlinear and linear for 1/BMI. Sex- and age-specific regression parameters between %BF and 1/BMI were consistent across Hispanic/Latino backgrounds (P > 0.05). The precision of the %BF-1/BMI association weakened with increasing age in men but not women. The proportion of participants classified as nonobese by BMI but as having obesity by %BF was generally higher among women and older adults (16.4% in women vs. 12.0% in men aged 50-74 years). Conclusions: %BF was linearly related to 1/BMI with consistent relationship across Hispanic/Latino backgrounds. BMI cut points consistently underestimated the proportion of Hispanics/Latinos with excess adiposity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1561-1571
Number of pages11
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Wong, W. W., Strizich, G., Heo, M., Heymsfield, S. B., Himes, J. H., Rock, C. L., Gellman, M. D., Siega-Riz, A. M., Sotres-Alvarez, D., Davis, S. M., Arredondo, E. M., Van Horn, L., Wylie-Rosett, J., Sanchez-Johnsen, L., Kaplan, R. C., & Mossavar-Rahmani, Y. (2016). Relationship between body fat and BMI in a US hispanic population-based cohort study: Results from HCHS/SOL. Obesity, 24(7), 1561-1571.