Friday, November 30, 2001

Body Composition Analyses

Body mass index (BMI) is an accurate representation of mortality and disease risk (heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, and some cancers) for the majority of the population.

Body fat and lean tissue mass (primarily muscle mass) in terms of percentage as pounds may be determined through several methods. Skinfold measurement is my method of choice when appropriate, based on it's accuracy and relatively simple procedure. Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) may be an accurate alternative, however careful attention must be paid to the client's water level as results are strongly affected by hydration status.

Waist circumference is a quick measurement that may be used to assess your disease risk, similar to the information provided from BMI results.

Height-weight charts, as well as ideal body weight (IBW) calculations of your ideal weight based on your height are also available. However, these methods come with limitations described in the above height-weight charts link.

Body composition plays a large role in showing you the progress that you have made that you may not see on the scale right away. You may lose several inches before you begin shedding pounds and progress is always encouraging!


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