How is body fat percentage estimated?

Updated: Jun 09, 2021
  • Author: Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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A person’s body fat percentage can be indirectly estimated by using the Deurenberg equation, as follows:

body fat percentage = 1.2(BMI) + 0.23(age) - 10.8(sex) - 5.4

with age being in years and sex being designated as 1 for males and 0 for females. This equation has a standard error of 4% and accounts for approximately 80% of the variation in body fat.

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