Body composition analysis is becoming a standard tool that is being used by fitness experts, coaches, and healthcare professionals.
In 2019 we can discard reliance on body mass index (BMI) as a means to measure health.
Other than our appearance, there is a list of diseases associated with obesity. This is what’s at the top of our minds. The list is long and includes heart disease, hypertension, cancer, joint problems, dementia, and diabetes.
Body composition analysis is defined as the clinical assessment of tissue and fluid in the human body.
- Fat Mass
- Fat-Free Mass
- Body Cell Mass
- Extracellular Mass
- Total Body H2O
- Intracellular H2O
- Extracellular H2O
Normal distribution of tissue and fluid is associated with immunity, high function, and longevity.
However, not being able to have detailed insight into your personal body composition can lead to critical errors in understanding what’s going on, along with recommendations. This can hinder the ability to reach a specific fitness goal.
Body composition analysis is utilized in preventative, therapeutic, and research applications.
- Physical Performance Assessment
- Weight Management
- Lifestyles Assessment
- Athletic Performance
To perform body composition analysis, mass and fluid are modeled, measurements taken, and results analyzed.
Bioimpedance (BIA) body composition analyzers measure body composition electronically. However, they do not, diagnose disease, or calculate treatment options. Only qualified health care professionals can diagnose and recommend treatment options.
There are concerns that affect everyone, which is why knowledge of body composition is important for your health in 2019 onward.
Look at the images below of six males, all of whom are 5′ 9″ and 170 pounds. There could be some envy from their 25.4 BMI, as the results are come up on the computer screen. However, looking at the actual patient or their scans using today’s technology, the results are pretty revealing.
Notice the difference in the midsection, where there is an abnormal accumulation of visceral fat.
- Fat Mass (FM): Total amount of stored lipids in the body and consists of the following types:
- Subcutaneous Fat is located right under the skin. Subcutaneous fat functions as an energy reserve and as insulation from the cold.
- Visceral Fat is located deeper in the body. This fat serves as an energy reserve and as a cushion between the organs.
- Fat-Free Mass (FFM), aka Lean Body Mass (LBM): Total amount of nonfat (lean) parts of the body.
- Consists of approximately 73% water, 20% protein, 6% mineral, and 1% ash.
- Fat-free mass divides further into body cell mass and extracellular mass:
- Body Cell Mass (BCM): All the metabolically active tissues (cells) of the body, which include muscle, organ, blood, and immune cells.
- BCM includes the “living” portion of fat cells, but not fat lipids.
- BCM also includes H2O inside living cells. This water is called Intracellular Water (ICW). The main electrolyte is potassium.
- Extracellular Mass (ECM): All the metabolically inactive (non-living) parts of the body, such as bone minerals and blood plasma. ECM includes water contained outside living cells. This water is called Extracellular Water (ECW). The main electrolyte is sodium.
Composition & Body Health
- Body composition correlates directly to maintained proper health, that range from mortality/morbidity to immunity, longevity, high function, and athletic performance.
- Body composition analysis’ purpose is to monitor and improve function.
- Healthy patients analysis of fat-free mass and body cell mass helped maintain function, productivity, immunity, physical performance, and longevity.
Every case is different but through body composition analysis, people can have a better understanding of their body, what options are available to them, and most importantly do not have to be on medication/s for the rest of their lives.
- Kyle UG, et al. Physical activity and fat-free and fat mass by bioelectrical impedance in 3853 adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2001;33:576-584.
- Mattar JA, et al. Application of total body bioimpedance to the critically ill patient. New Horizons, 1995, Vol 4., No. 4; 493-503.
- Ott M, et al. Bioelectrical impedance analysis as a predictor of survival in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology, 1995; 9:20-25.