Science Fit

What is Body Composition Testing?

By June 20, 2018 No Comments

Body Composition Testing is an innovative method of measuring body fat. It detects shifts in body composition, rather than making guesstimates based on height and weight.

Diet and Fitness Expert Dr. Melina Jampolis, in an article for CNN, states that “fat is a much better indicator of health than BMI (body mass index), which is simply a ratio of weight (in kilograms) divided by height (in meters) squared and does not take into account what our bodies are actually made of.” Body Fat Composition Testing accurately measures the body’s fat content. Muscle is lean compared to fat and possesses a different density.

Body composition testing greatly differs from methods previously used, such as BMI (body mass index) and water weighing, it’s accurate. According to CNN, most methods of monitoring body weight can be misleading. A scale doesn’t recognize the difference between a pound of fat and a pound of muscle. Body composition testing reveals shifts in body mass. As we exercise fat becomes muscle. The BMI and scales don’t detect this shift.

How is body composition testing done? According to the University of Virginia, body Composition Testing is conducted in the Bod Pod GS. The device looks much like the spacecraft Mork fell to Earth in (from the sitcom Mork and Mindy). The Sci-Fi looking device measures body composition via Air Displacement Plethysmography. According to the maker of the device, the Bod Pod is a two-chambered pod that differs from underwater weighing. It creates minuscule variations in air pressure and measures the change of volume within the chamber.

Getting in a Bod Pod isn’t the only means of measuring body composition. According to CNN, DXA Scanning (Dual-Emission X-Ray Absorptiometry) is the preferred method of body composition testing. The device was designed to study obesity and more accurately measures “deep belly fat.” Regardless of accuracy, this method isn’t for those who are avoiding X-rays. Additionally, DXA Scanning is much less expensive than other methods of body composition testing, it can be done for as little as $59.

Body composition testing may also be achieved through Bioelectrical Impedance. This form of body fat measurement works on the principle that electricity moves differently through fat than muscle. However, you must be willing to endure a small electrical charge to undergo this testing, much like a gentle form of Electro-Shock Therapy. Bioelectrical Impedance is extremely accurate when done routinely after exercise. A leading manufacturer states that the devices can be within +/-5% of absolute accuracy.

Reducing body fat lowers the risk of Heart Disease an stroke. For those who are interested in the benefits of lowering body fat, body composition testing is the most accurate means. As we go through an exercise regimen, keeping a journal of body fat content motivates us to continue.

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