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.
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. . 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.
- "Measuring body composition." by J C K Wells and M S Fewtrell, U.S. National Library of Medicine, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ↵
- "Assessing your weight and health risk" by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ↵
- "The Math of Fitness" by Eric Kim, A Healthy U, Andrews University ↵
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual