What is Body Composition?

Body composition is a method of describing what the body is made of.
It includes fat, protein, minerals and body water. It also describes weight more accurately than Body Mass Index or BMI. Body composition analysis can accurately show changes in fat mass, muscle mass, and body fat percentage.

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The Modern Assessment of Health

When you’re thinking of losing weight or simply want to see how healthy you are, you probably do one of two things: step on a scale or calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). But the truth is, these methods don’t tell you anything about how healthy you are– all weight and BMI does is compare how heavy you are to a standard that doesn’t fit your individual goals.

When you’re trying to get healthier, you’re most likely going to lose fat and (hopefully) gain muscle. But BMI and weight don’t differentiate between muscle and fat. So how can you? Through body composition analysis.

Body composition analysis is a method of describing what the body is made of, differentiating between fat, protein, minerals, and body water to give you a snapshot of your health.

What are the dangers of not knowing your body composition?

A healthy balance between fat and muscle is vital for health and wellness throughout life. Scientific evidence shows that a healthy body composition will increase your lifespan (reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, insulin resistance, etc.), increase energy levels, and improve self-esteem.

Why do you need to differentiate between muscle and fat?

Health practitioners universally agree that too much fat is a serious health risk. Problems such as hypertension, elevated blood lipids (fats and cholesterol), diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, respiratory dysfunction, gallbladder disease, and a myriad of other health problems are all related to obesity.
The ongoing epidemic of obesity in children and adults has highlighted the importance of knowing a person’s body fat for short-term and long-term health. An important part of understanding a user’s health is differentiating between what is healthy and what is not, especially when it comes to fat.

How to Measure Health?

BMI is an outdated method

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a common method used to assess the health of an individual by comparing the amount of weight they carry to the height of the individual. In its most basic sense, BMI may be useful for identifying those who are at an increased health risk as a result of excess fat accumulation.

Despite the widespread use of BMI in clinical practice, BMI has many limitations and is a poor tracking tool for weight change because there’s no way to identify if changes in your weight are in fat or muscle. That’s because BMI is calculated simply by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by their height: BMI = kg/m(sq).

Predicting health or mortality using a single number such as BMI oversimplifies health risks and ignores important factors that contribute to positive health.
Newer technologies are able to separate body weight into specific components that can be examined separately, like Direct Segmental Multi-frequency Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (DSM-BIA).

Focus on body fat percentage instead

As you move away from BMI, you should focus on the percentage of body fat you have at your weight. At InBody, we call this PBF (percent body fat). There is no consensus on what the best body fat level for health (the amount of fat storage that maximizes health by minimizing risk for adverse health states/conditions) is for the general population. The normal body fat range provided by InBody is set at 10-20% for males (15% as ideal) and 18-28% for females (23% as ideal).

What do these measurement values mean?

The Body Composition Analyzer provides four key values:
Weight, Muscle Mass, Body Mass Index (BMI), and Body Fat Percentage.

BMI is calculated by dividing one’s weight in kilograms by the square of one’s height in metres and used as an indicator of obesity and underweight.

A person’s body fat percentage is the total fat mass divided by the person’s weight. It consists of essential body fat and storage body fat. Although the weight is same, the percentages of fat or muscle mass can be different. Therefore, body fat percentage is an essential item for diagnosing obesity. The standard range is 10-20% for men and 18-28% for women. The standard body fat percentage differs for children under

18 depending on their gender and height.

Weight is the total mass of the human body.

Skeletal muscle represents the majority of muscle tissue and powers movement of
the skeleton. Skeletal muscle is innervated by the somatic nervous system and is
subject to voluntary control. This is the muscle that is influenced the most by physical activity.

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