Review of the current body fat taping method and its importance in ascertaining fitness levels in the United States Marine Corps
Hogan, Kerry A.
Seagren, Chad W.
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The United States Marine Corps (USMC) prides itself on its high standards of physical fitness and appearance. The USMC method to determine body composition is two-fold: weight and body fat based. The Department of Defense (DOD) body fat estimate was developed based on data collected in 1984 from the Naval Health Research Center, San Diego. In this thesis, multiple linear regression is used to estimate body fat on the overweight sample from the 1984 data. This thesis applies the DOD body fat estimate on a sample of current USMC males and females. Models are also fit to estimate weight in the current active-duty USMC population using physical fitness attributes. We find that physical fitness does not predict weight well. Models fit to the overweight members of the 1984 data are biased, overpredicting body fat at the lower end of the spectrum and underpredicting at the higher end. When applied to the current male USMC sample, the DOD body fat estimate overpredicts body fat in 30% of overweight males. When applied to the female USMC sample, the DOD method overpredicts body fat in 82% of overweight females. The current DOD taping method is a poor model, and needs to be revised.
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