Objective:To compare different field methods for estimating body fat reference value derived by a three-component (3C) model in pre-school children across Europe.Design:Multicentre validation preschool/school children aged 4-10 years from four different European countries.Methods:A standard measurement protocol was carried out in all by trained field workers. A 3C model was used as the reference method. methods included height and weight measurement, circumferences measured sites, skinfold measured at two-six sites and foot-to-foot bioelectrical resistance (BIA) via TANITA scales.Results:With the exception of height circumference, all single measurements were able to explain at least 74% fat-mass variance in the sample. In combination, circumference models superior to skinfold models and height-weight models. The best given by trunk models (combining skinfold and circumference explained 91% of the observed fat-mass variance. The optimal data-driven for our sample includes hip circumference, triceps skinfold and total minus resistance index, and explains 94% of the fat-mass variance with fat mass limits of agreement. In all investigated models, prediction associated with fat mass, although to a lesser degree in the skinfold models, arm models and the data-driven models.Conclusion:When total body fat in childhood populations, anthropometric measurements biased estimations as compared to gold standard measurements. study shows that when combining circumference and skinfold measurements, estimations of fat mass can be obtained with a limit of agreement of normal weight children and of 2.94 kg in overweight or obese children.International Journal of Obesity advance online publication, 12 2013; doi:10.1038/ijo.2013.13.