Sensitivity and specificity of Body Mass Index within male university sport students
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The purpose of the present study was to establish if body mass index (BMI) was sensitive and specific enough to classify overweight and obesity within a male university sport student population. Male university sport students (n = 75) participated within this study. BMI was calculated using the World Health Organisation (WHO, (2000) standardised cut-off values, obesity defined as BMI > 30 kg/m2 (condition one) and overweight defined as BMI > 25 kg/m2 (condition two). Percentage body fat was evaluated with the use of skinfold measurement, using the American College of Sports Medicine standardised values of 25 percent to define obese and 20 percent to define overweight this was used as a criterion to determine sensitivity and specificity levels of BMI. Sensitivity was high (1) for both condition one and two and specificity was also high (0.93) for condition one, but specificity for condition two was low (0.52). In conclusion, the WHO (2000) standard classification for obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m2) is an optimal cut-off value to use for a population of male university sport students, however the results of this study propose that the WHO (2000) standard classification for overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2) is not an accurate or reliable cut-off value to use when assessing overweight within male university sport students.
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