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Date of Award
Thesis and Dissertation-ISU Access Only
Master of Science (MS)
School of Kinesiology and Recreation
David Q. Thomas
Body Mass Index (BMI) is commonly used to determine overweight and obesity; however, it does not directly measure body composition, therefore BMI may misclassify athletes compared to their actual body composition. The purpose was to determine the relationship between BMI and body composition in collegiate athletes. One hundred seventy two athletes (92 males and 80 females) from a variety of sports participated. Body composition measures included height, weight and whole body adiposity via Air Displacement Plethysmography. Categorical agreement and correlations were calculated. According to BMI, 0.6% were underweight, 59.9% were normal weight, 35.5% were overweight and 4.1% were obese. According to body fat 4.7% were underfat, 89.0% were healthy, 3.5% were overfat and 2.9% were obese. Categorical classification accuracy between BMI and body fat percentage was 59.3%. Males and females were divided into three equal groups (low, medium and high) based on mass and BF%. Pearson's correlation was run between BMI and BF% for the three mass and BF% groups. Statistically significant moderate correlations were found for the high mass males (r=0.574, p=0.001) and for the high mass females (r=0.541, p=0.004) indicating BMI tends to be more highly related in higher mass athletes. Pearson's correlation was also run between BMI and BF% for the three equal BF% groups for both males and females. A statistically significant moderate correlation was found for the high BF% males (r=0.553, p=0.001) and a statistically significant moderately high correlation for the high BF% females (r=0.622, p≤0.001) indicating the higher the BF%, the more highly related BMI tends to be. BMI and BF% agree 59.3% of the time in athletes from a variety of sports. Misclassification errors occur when BMI classifies collegiate athletes as overweight, while BF% classifies them as having healthy body fat. The higher the BF% of the athletes, the more highly related BMI tends to be.
Carlson, Kelli, "The Relationship Between BMI and Body Composition in Collegiate Athletes" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 323.