People with excess weight, and especially excess body fat, have an increased risk for many health problems.
These problems include heart disease, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, increased morbidity and mortality from diabetes, and cancer.
You can take a quick body composition quiz to determine your body fat percentage, but for a more detailed and accurate result, you usually need to get a body composition test.
Body composition testing is increasingly popular due to scientific and technological developments. These tests are rapid and can yield comprehensive data on muscle mass, fat mass, fat percentage, bone mineral density, and other parameters which can help you regulate your body fat and achieve your ideal weight.
In this blog post, we’ll break down the differences between two of the most popular methods – BOD POD vs. DEXA scans – to help you decide which test is right for your individual goals.
Body composition means how much fat, muscle, and bone you have in your body. It can tell you how healthy you are. Some tests can show you how much lean body mass and body fat you have, both as a number and as a percentage. Body fat percentage can show you how healthy you are, because too much fat can cause problems like heart disease, diabetes, and more.
Checking your body composition can show you your health now, and also help you see how it changes over time when you change your eating and exercise habits. For example, if you want to have more muscle or less fat, you can check your body composition regularly to see if your changes are working. Using a good and accurate testing method is important to measure your body composition and see your progress.
The BOD POD uses air displacement to calculate body composition. Air displacement functions similarly to water displacement, creating volume changes in a confined and controlled space and measuring pressure responses.
The BOD POD procedure is simple and takes only 5-8 minutes total. First, you will be weighed using a very precise scale that is integrated into the BOD POD machine. Then you will sit inside the egg-shaped BOD POD chamber for around 2 minutes. The body volume will be measured in two brief, 45-second measurement periods.
It is important that you do not exercise, eat, or drink two hours prior to the test, because any food intake or physical activity can alter your mass and volume. Additionally, it is recommended that individuals wear form-fitting, compression-type clothing to minimize volume. A swim cap is usually provided during testing as well. Clothing, hair, and any accessories you wear will have an impact on volume and mass measurements.
DEXA or Dual Energy XRay Absorptiometry was originally developed as a method of measuring bone density using alternating high and low energy X-rays. However, DEXA is now viewed as the most precise method available for measuring body composition, including body fat percentage.
Unlike the BOD POD, the DEXA scan also shows segmental body fat distribution in regions such as arms, legs, waist, and hips so that you can identify imbalances in the body. It can also tell the difference between the fat that is deep inside the belly and the fat that is under the skin in the upper body, providing the indications of the health risks for certain diseases.
The DEXA scan procedure takes approximately 15 minutes. You will be asked to lie down on an exam table while an imaging arm hovers over your body. Unlike the BOD POD, you can eat or drink normally on the day of the procedure. However, you will be asked to change into a hospital gown and remove any metal objects in order to minimize interference with the X-ray.
What sets these two tests apart most significantly is their level of accuracy. The air displacement method relies heavily on pre-calculated formulas, which can result in severe overestimations of fat in underweight people and severe underestimations for individuals who are overweight. Conversely, DEXA Scan can provide a more accurate measure of body composition without relying on general equations. With more accurate information, an individual can attain a comprehensive, accurate overview of their body composition.
In summary, while the Bod Pod provides a reasonable estimate, the DEXA Scan remains the gold standard for precise body composition analysis. Consider your specific needs, availability, and budget when choosing between these two methods.
Interested in getting a body fat composition test? Click here to book an appointment for a Dexa scan in Kelowna now with Dexacan.