When it comes to maintaining optimal health, knowledge is power.
What differentiates a DEXA scan from any other body composition test is the amount of specific and thorough data that is produced from a standard report. Whether you’ve had multiple scans or are anticipating scheduling your first appointment, it is helpful to understand how to navigate your results to get to know your unique body composition.
Common alternative methods such as BMI, Bioimpedance, Bod Pod, and hydrostatic weighing are often used as substitutes for body composition health measurements. However, they can be dangerously misleading. Using these methods, you may see a margin of error ranging from 5 to 15%.
Whereas, not only a DEXA scan’s accuracy and precision ranges from 1 to 2 percent margin of error, it also provides additional information that BMI and alternative testing method can not, including:
Interpreting and understanding your scan results will make you get the most of your visit and help inform a plan to reach your goals with the help of a trainer and nutrition coach. DEXA scan results include five general buckets of information related to lean mass (all tissues in the body except bone and fat), fat mass, bone density and visceral fat.
When you get a second or third DEXA scan, you have the benefit of comparing your results over time. But what if this is your first scan? That’s where the power of data comes in handy.
DEXA compares your results with the published national database so you can see exactly where you stand. The database incorporates reference data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which includes DEXA scan results from a collection of thousands of participants ages 8 and older from 1999 to 2004.
Looking at these numbers and understanding what they mean can guide your diet and exercise choices. For example, if you have low muscle mass and high body fat compared to others of your age and sex, you may want to focus on reducing fat and building lean mass.
Fully understanding DEXA scan results and your body is important as you continue to gauge progress towards your goals. If you still have questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced practitioners, be sure to contact Dexacan, the Canadian leader in private DEXA scan provision today.