19 Body Mass Index

Body Composition

Body composition is just one of many measurable properties and factors that health professionals use to evaluate a person’s health. Body composition attempts to quantify the relative amounts of different tissue types present in a person’s body, typically with emphasis on ensuring a healthy amounts of fat relative to other tissues[1].

Body Mass Index

The body mass index () attempts to categorize body composition using only height and weight as inputs. Health professionals understand that the BMI can be useful when paired with other evaluations, but that it has many limitations when applied to individuals or very specific populations. For example, the extra weight caused by more than typical muscle for a given height can result in a false unhealthy weight categorization. [2]. Additional methods for determining body composition include bioelectric impedance, anthropometric, DEXA scan, hydrostatic weighing, and the skin fold method, which we will investigate in the following sections.[3]


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