Understanding Body Composition

This post is an overview of the key definitions as they relate to multi-frequency bioimpedance, understanding the key terms and what they mean to better serve future clients.

Body Composition
The human body consists of body fat mass and lean body mass. Lean body mass includes the combined weight of the internal organs, bones, muscles, water ligaments and tendons.

Body Fat
Body Fat is stored beneath the skin and between the organs in the abdomen area. When glucose is readily available through overeating and low activity levels, the body undergoes a process of storing this excess energy in the liver, muscles and cells. When energy is limited by restricting calories or increasing physical activity, blood sugar levels drop. The body then needs to supply its demand for energy from internal stores. As body fat is decreased so do the risks associated with excess body fat are diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

Abdominal Body Fat
Abdominal body fat consists of both subcutaneous and visceral fat.

Subcutaneous fat
Subcutaneous fat is the body fat that is stored under the skin and does not possess any health risk.

Visceral fat
Visceral fat is body fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity and rests around important internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines. Subcutaneous fat is the pinchable fat below the skin. Subcutaneous fat is the fat found directly underneath the skin. Carrying a high amount of visceral fat is known to be associated with insulin resistance, which can lead to glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes.
All of us will have a certain amount of visceral fat, but those of us with a larger quantity of visceral fat may be exposed to increased risks of the following health conditions.
● Type 2 diabetes
● Heart disease
● Breast cancer
● Colorectal cancer
● Alzheimer’s disease

Visceral fat generally occupies 10 ~ 20 % of body fat. Visceral obesity is assessed based on the indicators below. – the cross-sectional fat area between L4 ~ L5 is 100 cm2 and over – the visceral fat to subcutaneous fat ratio is 0.4 and over – the waist to hip ratio (W.H.R.) is over 0.9 (male) / 0.85 (female) – the circumference of waist is over 102 cm/40 inches (male) _ 88 cm / 35 inches (female)

Obesity is defined a having an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally considered obese. A person with a BMI equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight. Strictly speaking, obesity is the state in which body fat occupies a considerably high proportion as compared to weight.

Waist to Hip Ratio
This ratio is used to determine the fat distribution in your body

Segmental Analysis
The Accuniq BC380 analyses soft lean muscle mass and fat mass in five body segments, trunk, right arm, left arm, right leg, and left leg.

Total Body Water

Body Water exists in your blood, your muscle tissue and organs, your body fat and every cell of your body. Broadley this makes up your Total Body Water (TBW), it can be broken down into the two following compartments, Intracellular fluid and extracellular fluid.

Intracellular Water (ICW)

ICW is the water inside your cells. Roughly 70% of your body fluid also known as cytosol which is all the fluid inside the cells. In healthy people, it makes up the other 2/3 of the water inside your body.

ICW is the location of important cellular processes, and although it has many functions, a significant one is that it allows molecules to be transported to the different organelles inside the cell.  Essentially, the ICW picks up where the ECW left off by continuing the pathway for fuel to be transported to the cells

Extracellular Water (ECW)

ECW is the water outside of your cells. Roughly ⅓ of your fluid is attributed to ECW, which is, in turn, subdivided into interstitial fluid and smaller components, such as the blood plasma, the cerebrospinal fluid and lymph.