History of the U.S. Navy Body Composition Program.

Military medicine

PubMedID: 25562863

Peterson DD. History of the U.S. Navy Body Composition Program. Mil Med. 2015;180(1):91-96.
The Navy currently employs maximum weight-for-height tables and body fat prediction equations based on circumference measurements to assess body composition. However, many Sailors believe the current method fails to accurately predict body fat percentage. As a result, the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) conducted numerous studies in an attempt to improve the accuracy and reliability of the Navy's Body Composition Analysis program. In 2012, NHRC conducted a study that researched the feasibility of using a single abdominal circumference (AC) measurement in lieu of circumference measurements. The Air Force and National Institutes of Health (NIH) employ a single AC measurement taken at the superior border of the iliac crest to assess body composition and all-cause mortality risk. Although the Air Force and NIH use the iliac crest, NHRC is proposing the Navy use the umbilicus as the AC site since it is less invasive and easier to identify. If implemented, the Navy would use cutoff values of 40 in. and 36 in. for males and females, respectively. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief history of the Navy's Body Composition Analysis program as well as propose the transition from circumference measurements to a single AC measurement.