"Body fat percentage will become a new standard for health in adults."
- C. Everett Koop Former Surgeon General
Body fat measurement is now available at our office.
Measurement of body fat by DUAL ENERGY ABSORPTION is considered more accurate than body weight for assessing health. DXA is considered to be the gold standard, while the other methods of estimating body fat (Bodpod, BIA, skin pinch calipers) are becoming archaic. They depend upon making sure the exact same area of skin is measured each time, which is almost impossible since different trainers measure different areas. This contributes to the inaccuracy of those methods. The tried-and-true traditional method means a wet dunk in a tank is expensive, inconvenient, time consuming, and facilities that perform the test are hard to find.
Statistics show that over 60% of American adults are now considered overweight or obese (having excess body fat). Many of these people suffer from "creeping obesity", the slow increase of body fat along with a loss of muscle over time.
Body weight alone can be very misleading, since creeping obesity can often occurs without any actual change in weight. It's not a person's weight, but what makes up the weight figure that's really important. The scale cannot tell the difference between a pound of fat and a pound of muscle. Only by carefully and accurately measuring body composition can healthy weight loss be achieved.
Until now, methods of measuring body composition have either been invasive, inaccurate, difficult to perform, or unsuitable for certain populations. DXA has overcome all of these hurdles to offer body composition measurements that are accurate, quick, easy to obtain, and safe. The high-quality information provided by DXA allows for problem areas to be identified, and exercise and nutrition programs to be implemented for safely meeting goals.
Body composition (percent fat and lean) reflects the results of both physical activity and nutritional practices. Over time, people tend to gain fat and lose muscle without an obvious change in their weight. And, even though we need a certain amount of fat in our bodies to insure good health, excess body fat has been found to increase the risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
On the other hand, too little body fat can also pose a number of health risks, including problems with reproduction in women. For many athletes, performance is improved with optimal body composition. (The Greenbay Packers recently obtained the new iDXA machine by GE Lunar to more accurately measure body composition of their team members.)
Only by accurately measuring body composition will you learn the amount of fat and lean tissue that makes up your weight, enabling sensible decisions regarding nutrition and exercise programs. It's the best way to get the "whole picture" of what's really going on in your body.
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