Support vector machine technique as classifier of impaired body fat percentage

Alexandra La Cruz, Erika Severeyn, Mónica Huerta, Sara Wong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Excess weight and obesity are indicators of an unhealthy or harmful accumulation of fat that can be dangerous to health. Body mass index (BMI) refers to height-to-weight radio and is often used to identify overweight and obesity in adults. Although BMI is commonly used to diagnose obesity and overweight, it is ineffective in differentiating between high muscle mass and elevated body fat mass. Body fat percentage (BF%) is one of the best predictors of obesity because it quantifies adipose tissue. The Deurenberg equation is among the indirect methods to measure BF%; it uses BMI, age, and sex as parameters to calculate the BF%. Machine learning techniques demonstrated to be a good classifier of overweight, obesity, and diseases related to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. This study intends to evaluate anthropometric parameters as classifiers of BF% alteration using support vector machines and the Deurenberg equation for BF% estimation. The database used consisted of 1978 individuals with 24 different anthropometric measurements. The results suggest the SVM as a suitable technique for classifying individuals with normal and abnormal BF% values. Accuracy, F1 score, PPV, NPV, and sensitivity were above 0.8. Besides, the specificity value is below 0.7, which indicates that false positives may occur. As future work, this research intends to apply neural networks as a classification technique.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFuzzy Systems and Data Mining VII - Proceedings of FSDM 2021
EditorsAntonio J. Tallon-Ballesteros
PublisherIOS Press BV
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781643682143
StatePublished - 14 Oct 2021
Event7th International Conference on Fuzzy Systems and Data Mining, FSDM 2021 - Virtual, Online, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 26 Oct 202129 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
ISSN (Print)0922-6389


Conference7th International Conference on Fuzzy Systems and Data Mining, FSDM 2021
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The authors and IOS Press.


  • Anthropometric measurements
  • Fat body percentage
  • Monte Carlo cross validation
  • Support vector machine


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