The “How” and “Why” of Body Composition Assessment (Adults)

Authored by: Stefan A. Czerwinski , Wm. Cameron Chumlea

Handbook of Nutrition and Food

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781466505711
eBook ISBN: 9781466505728
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b15294-42

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Abstract

A variety of direct and indirect methods are available to quantify human body composition at the following levels: (1) the atomic level for the elements of carbon, calcium, potassium, and hydrogen; (2) the molecular level for amounts of water, protein, and fat; (3) the cellular level for extracellular fluid and the body cell mass and; (4) the tissue level for amounts and distributions of adipose, skeletal, and muscle tissues. These methods are based upon assumptions regarding the concentrations of elements, water, and electrolytes, the density of body tissues, the biological interrelationships between body components and body tissues, and their distributions among groups of normal-weight adults. Detailed aspects of body composition methodology, its theories, general applications, equipment, and analytical techniques are found in several references, 1 - 3 and readers interested in a specific method and its details should consult these references.

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