Body Fat of Basketball Players: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Sansone, P; Makivic, B; Csapo, R; Hume, P; Martínez-Rodríguez, A; Bauer, P
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Background: This study aimed to provide reference values for body fat (BF) of basketball players considering sex, measurement method, and competitive level. Methods: A systematic literature research was conducted using five electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL, Scopus). BF values were extracted, with analyses conducted using random-effects models and data reported as percentages with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: After screening, 80 articles representing 4335 basketball players were selected. Pooled mean BF was 13.1% (95% CI 12.4–13.8%) for male players and 20.7% (95% CI 19.9–21.5%) for female players. Pooled mean BF was 21.4% (95% CI 18.4–24.3%) measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), 15.2% (95% CI 12.8–17.6%) via bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), 12.4% (95% CI 10.6–14.2%) via skinfolds and 20.0% (95% CI 13.4–26.6%) via air displacement plethysmography. Pooled mean BF across competitive levels were 13.5% (95% CI 11.6–15.3%) for international, 15.7% (95% CI 14.2–17.2%) for national and 15.1% (95% CI 13.5–16.7%) for regional-level players. As the meta-regression revealed significant effects of sex, measurement method and competitive level on BF, the meta-analysis was adjusted for these moderators. The final model revealed significant differences in BF between male and female players (p < 0.001). BF measured by DXA was significantly higher than that measured by BIA or skinfolds (p < 0.001). International-level players had significantly lower BF than national and regional-level players (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Despite the limitations of published data, this meta-analysis provides reference values for BF of basketball players. Sex, measurement method and competitive level influence BF values, and therefore must be taken into account when interpreting results.