Wondering how to test your body fat?
Getting a DEXA or DXA scan is considered one of the best ways to measure your body fat and visceral fat – the metabolically active fat linked to Type II diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and inflammation., bone density, and overall body composition.
WHY SHOULD I MEASURE MY BODY FAT?
- The prevalence of obesity has reached pandemic proportions. In the United States, two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. Unfortunately, children are not immune to this disease. More than one-third of school-age children are either overweight or obese according to the latest NHANES data.1 When associated with high waist circumference and high body mass index (BMI), obesity is an independent risk factor for many cardiovascular diseases and conditions including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, as well as some cancers.
- The Advanced Body Composition assessment provides detailed information about body fat, lean mass, bone mass, and visceral fat – the metabolically active fat often associated with diabetes and other metabolic syndromes. It also includes a Fat Mass Index (FMI) which is an obesity classification that measures the ratio of fat mass to height squared.2 FMI may be better than BMI because while BMI is a measure of excess weight, FMI is a measure of excess fat. BMI may misclassify muscular subjects as overweight or individuals with low body weight as normal even if they have high levels of fat.
6 METHODS OF ASSESSING BODY FAT AND BODY COMPOSITION
6. Skinfold Calipers
5. Body circumference measurement
4. Bioelectrical Impedance devices (BIA, BIS, EIM)
3. Hydrostatic devices
2. Bod-Pod (Air Displacement Plethysmography)
1. DEXA / DXA (Dual Energy Xray Absorptiometry) Scans (the Gold Standard)
HOW TO TAKE THE GUESSWORK OUT OF BODY FAT AND BODY COMPOSITION
- NEXT STEPS
If you’re looking to make a real difference in the lives of your patients, start measuring their bone health and body composition with a DEXA scan.
2 Kelly TL, Wilson KE, Heymsfield SB (2009) Dual energy X-Ray absorptiometry body composition reference values from NHANES. PLoS One 4: e7038.
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