What is body composition?
Body composition describes the percentages of fat, bone and muscle in your body. These percentages provide an overall view of your health and fitness in relation to your weight, health, and age. Weight and fat are often used together, but they are not interchangeable. Being overweight does not imply obesity - in fact, many physically fit people are overweight due to muscle gain. However, being "overfat" poses health risks ranging from heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Why measuring Body Composition?
Because muscular tissue takes up less space in our body than fat tissue, our body composition, as well as our weight, determines how lean we appear. Two people at the same height and same body weight may look completely different from each other because they have a different body composition.
Weight alone is not a clear indicator of good health.
The purpose of measuring body composition is to determine an individual's body fat, lean body mass and body hydration level. This is conducted using the Bioelectrical Impedance Analyzer.
Advantages of BIA
- Measures fat-free mass and calculates fat mass
- Some models include measurement or calculation of body cell mass, total body water, intracellular water extracellular water and 3rd Space Water Safe, non-invasive, fast, and inexpensive Lightweight, portable devices which can be used at the bedside
- May be useful to assess total body water in individuals with altered metabolic function
- Excellent consistency for repeated measurements
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a tool currently used by health professionals to screen individuals for their degree of obesity. It is based upon a relationship between weight and height, excluding frame size and muscle mass.
Yet, despite being used by many physicians and nutritionists, body mass index has its limitations. A BMI chart cannot determine with any degree of accuracy how much of your weight consists of fat and how much consists of lean mass such as bone and muscle.