Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Study Spotlight: A Smartphone Application for Personal Assessments of Body Composition and Phenotying

By: Joel Luedke

"The scale doesn't lie" isn't exactly a true statement.  While yes it tells you how much overall weight you are losing it takes into no account what type of weight and it also doesn't account for the fact that if you're working out you are potentially adding muscle which will add weight.  This combination can make for great frustration as things might be going very well but the scale does not say so.

This is where body composition is vital to your success.  While we are tracking our body

composition we are able to make sure things are going in the right direction even if the scale doesn't show you as much results as you might want.  Testing body composition can be tough if you don't have access to the gold standards of testing but in this Study Spotlight we take a look at a potential alternative.

What They Did: 
Researchers in this study compared two options for looking at personal assessments of body phenotype.  The two types they compared were a smartphone application of digital photography vs. dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA, the gold standard).  How the smartphone application worked was by utilizing the percent (%) occupancy of an individual lateral whole body digital image and regions indicative of adipose accumulation associated with increased risk of cardio-metabolic disease.

In the study they measured 117 healthy adults (63 females and 54 males aged 19 to 65).

What They Found:
The results they found were very promising.  On one end the variability of difference between testers was only 0.02%.  This tells us it can work for multiple different people to use and still be accurate.
Researchers found that the differences between predicted and measure fat mass values were very small ranging between 0.02kg and 0.07kg for females and males respectively.

What It All Means:
As we stated above know your body composition is one of the best ways to track your actual progress when it comes to working out, dieting and losing weight.  The scale can sometimes lie to you and give you false results that you aren't really losing that much.  The hard part about getting your body fat checked is finding one of the more reliable ways to get it measure, namely the BodPod and the DEXA Scan.  If this smartphone app is actually as accurate as these initial findings indicate then it would be a very inexpensive way to track your body fat and get a great idea of what your progress it.

We hope to see this continue to improve.

LINK: A Smartphone Application for Personal Assessments of Body Composition and Phenotyping

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