Korean J Fam Pract.  2020 Feb;10(1):68-73. 10.21215/kjfp.2020.10.1.68.

Application of Relative Fat Mass Equation in Korean Adults

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Body mass index (BMI) has limitations in determining body fat percentage and body fat distribution, and causes misclassification of body fat-defined obesity. As high body fat percentage is associated with mortality, an accurate assessment of body fat percentage is considered clinically important. Recently, Woolcott and Bergman reported a relative fat mass (RFM) equation which calculated the body fat percentage using the height and waist circumferences. However, as RFM has been studied only in European-, Mexican-, and African-Americans, an assessment in Asians was needed. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the applicability of RFM in Korean adults.
This study included 7,733 adults who visited a Sanggye Paik Hospital Health Promotion Center from May 1, 2016 to November 12, 2018. BMI and RFM were calculated by measuring height, weight, and waist circumference. The total body fat (TBF) percentage was measured by bioelectrical impedance analysis. We compared the BMI, RFM, and TBF percentage to assess the applicability of RFM in Korean adults.
RFM had a statistically significant correlation with TBF percentage in both male and female (male: β=0.808, R2=0.653, female: β=0.766, R2=0.587, P<0.001). In the Bland-Altman plot, RFM showed good agreement with the TBF percentage within the 95% confidence interval.
The RFM equation can be used to predict TBF percentage in Korean adults.


Obesity; Body Mass Index; Adiposity
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