BBC Newsbeat (1′ 30″)
‘Doctor in the House’, BBC (2′ 26″)
The Sunday Times magazine
The Telegraph Online
The Saturday Telegraph
The Sunday Times
But I wasn’t finished yet. I had heard that DEXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry), a technology traditionally used by hospitals to measure bone density, had recently become available at four Bodyscan facilities, including London and Manchester.
I had also heard that DEXA was harsher (more realistic?) than other body fat testing methods. So I took a deep breath and went along to meet Bodyscan Managing Director, Phil Chant, for a scan in Central London.
“Some people are what we call TOFI – thin on the outside, fat on the inside,” explains Chant from behind a screen whilst I undress and change into nothing more than underwear and a hospital gown. “Their BMI can be smack bang in the middle of normal but their visceral fat can often be worryingly high. A DEXA body scan also gives us a figure for overall bone density. Those are two things that aren’t measured with either Bod Pod or bio-impedance gadgets.”
I lie down, totally still and silent as the ingenious machine buzzes for around three minutes. By the time I’m clothed again, Chant has my results printed out and ready for inspection. Hurrah! My bone density figure is excellent and my visceral fat low (almost certainly the result of good diet and regular resistance training), although my overall fat is higher than any of the other measurements, around 22%.
“So this is the absolute correct number then,” I ask. “The testing method I can trust?”
Chant smiles. “The only truly accurate measure of fat and fat-free mass is by dissecting a cadaver,” he says. “Every other method is a prediction of the findings of that dissection based on formulae and algorithms.”
So there you have it. Catch 22: You’ll be dead before you know, with absolute certainty, what your body fat percentage is and by then… who cares? In this life however, I’d recommend a DEXA scan.
YOU Magazine, Mail on Sunday
The Daily Mail
This Time Next Year, ITV (3’24”)
Your body on trial
Progress at the gym stalled? A few useful tests could hold the answer, advises Tom Macklin.
Have you ever wondered why you’re not achieving optimal results in the gym? Perhaps it’s fatigue, lack of motivation or a niggling injury you just can’t overcome. It may be down to your technique, or even too many drinks after work, but the real reason could be an underlying problem— food intolerances, mineral deﬁciencies, genetic make-up or psychosomatic manipulation. To understand your body better, there are specialist services that can oﬀer insight into what you may be lacking, what you should avoid eating, and why it could simply be a case of mind over matter. Here are four of the best health tests you should take.
Understanding your composition
From scales to calipers, various services offer to measure body fat but none more accurately than DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry). Developed for the medical profession, its full body scan gives a detailed analysis of body fat, lean mass and bone density, and calculates health levels considering age, height and weight. For optimal results, 6–12-monthly scans will enable you to track changes, adapt workouts and boost motivation. £160, bodyscanuk.com.
Good Morning Britain, ITV
Bodyscan provided DEXA scans for three members of the Musiwa family to kick off GMB’s ‘Eat More, Lose More’ campaign. Footage of the three women’s scans is just a few seconds (despite having filmed for over two hours!) but the colour DEXA images were blown up life-size and used by Dr Hilary Jones to describe the family’s body fat data and the health issues facing each woman.
Presenter Susanna Reid says, “I’ve had one of these scans as well [at Bodyscan in London] and actually having that information is kind of empowering”.
Piers Morgan jokes that he would hate to have a scan but then says, “To hear six or seven stone of me is fat, it would shock me into action actually!”
Cult of Mac
You have not seen yourself truly naked until you’ve seen your DEXA scan
Seeing yourself the way the DEXA machine sees you is a humbling and slightly unnerving experience. It leaves little to the imagination. Your love handles light up in bright orange for all to see. But the biggest shock came when the DEXA operator told me my body fat percentage: 18 percent.
He could see I was disappointed, and quickly reassured me that DEXA scans typically gave a result 5 percent to 7 percent higher than you get from the body caliper tests that are popular with personal trainers at the gym.
DEXA’s estimates are more accurate. It is just that the received wisdom on body fat percentages in the fitness industry have become skewed over the years.
Whether I liked it or not, I really was 18 percent body fat. But this still meant I was pretty slim — according to the DEXA report, 97 percent of guys my age have a higher percentage of body fat.
Men’s Fitness supplement
“The MF staff had all their body measurements done using a DEXA medical grade body scanner. The scans were provided by Bodyscan.”
DEXA: This scanning technology was originally used in hospitals to measure bone density. It has since been adapted to provide a highly accurate measurement of bone, fat and lean mass.It sends a very low dose of X-rays through the body during a five minute scan.
You get immediate feedback via a report that shows how much body fat you carry and where (men typically store excess fat around the belly, while for women it’s the hips and thighs). It also shows how much lean (fat-free) mass you have, so you can set realistic goals for improving your ratio of fat-to-lean mass.
A DEXA scan can also reveal how much hidden fat surrounds your internal organs (visceral fat). Too much of this stuff can lead to increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but the good news is that it’s responsive to diet and exercise.
There are many DIY approaches to measuring body fat and lean mass – calipers and bio-impedance monitors in gyms but if you want an accurate reading of body composition, BodyScan uses the very latest, medically developed DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) technology.
This is the easiest test of all of them. All you have to do is lie back on a padded bed while a moving arm passes over your body. Four minutes and you’re done. Then you get an instant reading of the amount of body fat, lean tissue and bone mass in each major part of your body – arms, legs and trunk.
The machine also gives an estimate of your visceral fat – the unseen toxic fat that surrounds the internal organs and is linked with diabetes, heart disease, colon cancer and stroke. A visceral fat estimate above 100 indicates an increased heath risk, while above 160 is classified as high risk.
Personal Trainer magazine
Cosmo Body, May 2015 edition
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