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We just came back from having a great show at this year’s American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual meeting in San Diego!  It was great getting out from our office in LA and meeting clients and end-users face-to-face at the convention.  When we got to talking to people coming by our booth, a lot of them had some really interesting things to say about body composition.  Here are some of our favorites:

Using BMI to Assess Weight


There’s so many faults [with BMI], that something like this could completely change the way you are looking at it.  You get a BMI for an athlete and they have 3% body fat…but they’re way over in the obese for BMI.


“Everyone goes by weight these days and weight is completely inaccurate.  You always hear that muscle weighs more than fat.  I was strong and lean at one time…and it’s better to have a more accurate way to measure.”


“It was nice to see that my percent body fat was 12.8 but my BMI is 25, so I am officially ‘overweight.’  If you’re small, [BMI] always underestimates your fat percentage and if you’re tall or large then it overestimates your fat percentage.”

Testing Body Composition with Other Methods


We use skinfold [calipers].  That is what we do for body composition. You can have trouble testing body composition that depend on the tools you can use.  For the skinfold, for instance, you need to learn exactly how to do that because you can make mistakes with that tool. So, we have to be sure that all our testing procedures are fine and sometimes you can have trouble based on the subject’s characteristics. It’s not easy at all.”

“This is definitely less invasive because hydrostatic weighing – at least in the tank in my university – is really small so you can feel claustrophobic.  You have to wear a bathing suit, and then you have to blow out all your air and hold it so that there can be a good reading on the scale.

“My initial reaction, full disclosure was that…I was a little skeptical when I stood on it, but when I got my results, it’s the exact same as the Gold Standard, so I’m really impressed.”

Segmental Analysis using BIA


“It’s very detailed and actually very amazing that it has separate results for the right arm and left arm.  It helps me to understand what my weakness is and how I can improve.


“It’s pretty impressive that you can break it down by segment; I think that’s pretty cool.  You can track injuries over time and also see what areas of the body are better strengthened than others. So if you’re right hand dominant, or if your right leg is stronger than your left, you can balance out the athletes.

Being able to see it broken down by segment is huge, so if all your weight is in your lower legs, or all your weight is in your abdomen, for congestive heart failure, you can see that/visualize it.”

“We haven’t really seen anything quite like it before.  It’s pretty unique technology; I would say that it is unique in the fact that it’s easy to use, simple, and fast, and that’s not always something that’s easy when you’re doing body composition testing.

“A good fit for potentially all institutions that do research or any institution that would use any kind of body composition assessment, for example hospitals or clinics or research clinics or whatever the case may be.  Being that it is so difficult to assess [body composition], it’s nice to have something that is so accurate.


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