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BIA

Disabilities: Why body composition monitoring is important?

By BIA, Body Composition, Case Studies, Press

This webpage content is intended for Healthcare Professionals only, not for general public.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated on December 3rd, with one of the goals being to promote support for the well-being of people with disabilities.

A body composition test is an important part of monitoring people with disabilities’ health and well-being. Due to the distinct health issues that many people with disabilities face, such as limb paralysis and restricted mobility. A consistent measurement of body composition changes such as lean mass, body fat, and body water is also critical for their health.

Caring people with disabilities' health is important

Why body composition of people with disabilities should be monitored consistently?

In comparison to the general population, people with disabilities often have lower levels of health awareness and have more difficulty managing their health.

According to a study, the prevalence of obesity among young people with intellectual disabilities (ID) was nearly twice as high as the general population.

People with ID are more prone to obesity, which can lead to a variety of metabolic, pulmonary, and cardiovascular diseases. This emphasises the significance of regular body composition tests for their health awareness and caregiver attention.

Some stroke survivors experience disabilities often have unhealthy lifestyle which is the main cause of stroke development. Body composition tests that raise their awareness is necessary for their post-stroke lifestyle modifications and ongoing well-being in the future.

Challenges in monitoring body composition for people with disabilities

Raising health awareness among people with mental and developmental disabilities may be challenging if complex explanations are made. Meanwhile, you may find it difficult to effectively communicate with patients using the complex results from sophisticated machines.

Particularly, it can be challenging to predict the total caloric need of people with disabilities because it may not be determined in the same manner as the general population. Understanding body composition readings like Fat-Free Mass is crucial to helping you determine a patient’s daily calorie requirements. This would make it easier to develop more personalized fat loss program that work for people with disabilities.

On the other hand, most body composition measurements using BIA devices are taken in standing posture. You’re likely worried that not all people with disabilities will find it convenient to stand for a few minute measurements. Meanwhile, some people with disabilities may have had limbs amputated, making it more difficult to monitor their body composition. Therefore, it can be challenging to find a body composition analyzer that can be perform accurately with different measurement postures and available for amputees.

Rapport Kamiooka measuring their patient body composition with InBody S10

Please consult your healthcare professional for the interpretation of result and diagnosis.

How InBody support the people with disabilities in Yokohama City, Japan ?

Yokohoma City’s Rapport Kamiooka provides a “health promotion programme” with the assistance of a qualified medical staff for people with disabilities. They had demonstrated the effectiveness of InBody S10 in their program.

InBody S10 had been used for subjects with physical disabilities as it can measure body composition in standing, seated, and lying positions. They used InBody S10 for people who are unable to hold the hand electrode due to arm paralysis or who are unable to maintain a standing position due to leg problems.

Planning a diet for a disabled person who has conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes is challenging. They discovered that InBody offers some helpful readings in calorie intake calculation, which is crucial in ensuring the disabled person consumes the required nutrients. Therefore, they frequently use the reading of body weight and InBody’s basal metabolic rate, and adjust the amount of diet by keeping an eye on disabled persons’ muscle and fat mass.

Rapport Kamiooka consulting their patient body composition with InBody result sheet printed

With the printed test results, the physician could communicate with patients who have severe intellectual disabilities (ID) more effectively. Meanwhile, the team’s physical instructor has noticed that people with ID primarily move their lower bodies through walks and do not consciously train their upper bodies. This reflects the fact that their upper bodies and trunks typically have less muscle mass in InBody result sheet. With this discovery, he intentionally adds upper body exercise to each patient’s training.

A delightful results is observed after 3 months of this programs. A total of 110 people with physical, intellectual, and mental disabilities had found with positive body composition changes. Their overall muscle mass was maintained, while the Body Weight, Body Fat Mass, and Percent Body Fat decreased by an average of 1.3kg, 1.4kg, and 1.2% respectively.

In summary, regular body composition tests are crucially important for people with disabilities. The changes in their body composition are strongly related to their well-being and the effectiveness of the care they receive. A quick and accurate body composition measurement of different postures could revolutionise the way health care professionals provide medical check up and give disabled people the chance to learn more about their own health.

As you know, InBody has been striving to develop a body composition analyzer that can be used by everyone—even people with disabilities! There’s a new version of body water analyzer, BWA 2.0 is able to provide the cell’s function evaluation by measuring the cell’s integrity and structure with enhanced body water measurement accuracy. This could provide you the insight of which patients with disability may requires extra medical attention based on their body composition results.

Click here to learn more.

BWA 2.0 Innovative Body Water Analyser

 

How often should you test body composition?

By BIA, Blog, Body Composition, Fat mass, Nutrition, Press

When it comes to weight loss, most people often use a weighing scale to track their progress. However, for better progress tracking, you need to test body composition rather than just weight loss monitoring.

Let’s say you’ve just started a new workout routine recently. Every morning, you eagerly weigh yourself to monitor your progress. Unfortunately, the static number shown on the scale could be truly upsetting.

An upset man is holding a weighing scale.

Without a doubt, weight measurements are used frequently in to track weigh loss. However, even though the number on the scale has remained the same, you might not be aware that your body has undergone some changes.

The scale counts everything, including your bones, muscles, organs, fat, and every sip of water and food you consume. In other words, weighing scales cannot differentiate what you’re gaining (which might just be water) or losing (which might be muscle).

Here’s where the body composition measurement comes in. Simply put, your body’s composition is the sum of its amounts of fat, muscle, bone, and water. Body composition analysis determines your body’s proportions of fat mass and lean mass by looking beyond your weight and the traditional Body Mass Index (BMI).

InBody used in body composition test

How to test your body composition?

There are many ways to test your body compositionSome are quick and simple but only offer basic information. Some tests need to be administered by a qualified technician and are time-consuming and expensive.

InBody devices measure your body composition using a technique known as Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), which divides your weight into different components such as lean body mass and fat mass to assess health and nutrition.

InBody body composition test for company employees

How often should you test the body composition?

When deciding how often to test your body composition, take into account your goal, timeframe, and whether you are currently following to a new wellness or dietary program. If you are actively involved in a wellness or fitness program, you may notice changes within 3-4 weeks.

A study observed body fat mass reductions of up to 2.5kg for 48 obese adults under a 2-week nutrition program with nutrition drink supplementation in conjunction with body composition monitoring using InBody.

Therefore, if you’re actively engaging in a new lifestyle change, it’s recommended that you take the InBody test every two weeks. Dedicated effort and precisely measured results can often inspire you to persevere to reach your fitness goal. If your fitness goal timeframe is longer, you may consider taking the test less frequently.

Meanwhile, it is recommended that you only use one measurement method and same machine for your body composition test on your fitness journey. You might be able to obtain the results more precisely in this mannerThis is because various types of body composition test machines may use varied measurement techniques.

Set your fitness goal

Set your goal using the InBody test now!

It’s important to know how long it will take your body to make the desired changes after beginning a new fitness and nutrition plan. The InBody test could be an effective way to keep track of changes in your body composition. With the right information, you can set realistic goals for your muscle gain and fat loss that can be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time.

Guidance to set your fat loss goal with InBody (1)

Sports Nutritionist and Athletes' performance

How does the athlete’s body composition impact their performance?

By BIA, Body Composition, Fitness, Muscle, Nutrition

When most people think of nutritionists, they think of “healthy eating” and weight loss. However, the importance of sports nutrition to maximise the athlete performance is fundamentally linked to diet and body composition too.

See Min, a professional sports nutritionist who works at the National Sports Institute Malaysia, recently joined the Malaysian contingent to the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi to support the national team, shared her experience with how she accurately tracks athletes’ body composition using bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA).

What is Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) technology?

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) is one of the accurate methods to measure body composition, which divides your weight into different components such as lean body mass and fat mass to assess health and nutrition.

How does the BIA application provide a better strategy to maximise athletes’ performance?

Bioelectrical impedance analysis, as See Min mentioned, is one of the convenient methods for monitoring body composition in the sports nutrition field. It is utilised to monitor segmental lean mass for sports in a mass group, such as team sports, especially when regular assessment is required at different training phases. This is highly useful when sports nutritionists want to monitor changes in athletes’ body composition as the sports seasons change and adjust the dietary plan to assist athletes in achieving body composition goals that allow for maximum performance during competition.

By referring to the result sheet printed out from the BIA devices, sports nutritionists are able to explain body composition changes to athletes and coaches with ease. This allows the athletes to understand how their dietary practice and training programme could affect their body composition and performance in competition.



Watch the video to learn more about how BIA can assist sports nutritionists in helping athletes to achieve optimum body compositions for optimum performance in each phase of their training.

Why Men Are More Prone To Heart Disease?

By BIA, Blog, Health, Nutrition, Press

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading causes of death in Malaysia. Heart disease is responsible for nearly 1 out of every 4 deaths in Malaysia.  Malaysians in their 20’s and 30’s are currently suffering from heart attacks. Ischaemic heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack, was the leading cause of death among males in Malaysia in 2018, accounting for 17.8% of all deaths.

It is important for men to understand what heart disease is, the risk factors and symptoms, and how to prevent heart disease.  

What is heart disease? 

Cardiac disease encompasses a wide range of heart disorders, including coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease (CAD), arrhythmia, heart failure, and heart attacks. Coronary heart disease develops when the arteries that deliver blood to the heart and body harden and narrow due to plaque buildup.

This plaque is composed of components found in the body such as cholesterol and other fatty lipids. Atherosclerosis is the term used to describe the hardness and constriction of the arteries. When this plaque accumulates, blood flow is constricted, resulting in a reduction in the amount of oxygen delivered to the heart. This can eventually lead to a heart attack.

High blood pressure and heart disease

Having high and uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart disease. Over time, high blood pressure taxes the blood vessels and heart by making them do more work less efficiently. The friction and force that come from high blood pressure will do damage to the delicate tissues lining the arteries. Plaque forms along with these tiny tears and lesions. As more plaque builds up, the narrower the arteries become, raising blood pressure even more. It becomes a vicious cycle.   

Many people have no symptoms of high blood pressure until it is too late. It is important to regularly check your blood pressure to make sure it is within the healthy range.  

Why men are more prone to heart disease

Men have an elevated risk of heart disease. According to National Health & Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019, hypertension affects men 3 times more than women under the age of 30.

Other risk factors for heart disease include being overweight or obese, having a poor diet, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, and having diabetes.  

Symptoms of heart disease  

The symptoms of heart disease can often be “silent,” and go undiagnosed until someone experiences the signs of a heart attack or arrhythmia. Symptoms of these events may include:  

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Pain in the upper back or neck  
  • Heartburn or indigestion  
  • Nausea or vomiting  
  • Dizziness  
  • Shortness of breath  
  • Extreme fatigue  
  • Palpitations or feelings of fluttering in the chest  
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, legs, neck, or abdomen  

It’s important to note that not all people who have heart disease experience signs or symptoms. Half of the men who died suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms or warnings. 

How can you lower your risk for heart disease?  

  1. Check your BP: regular monitoring of your blood pressure will help you stay informed and in control of your blood pressure. If you suffer from high blood pressure, it may be helpful for you to keep a log of your blood pressure readings and take them to review with your doctor.  
  2. Quit smoking: Smoking is known to increase blood pressure and can greatly increase your risk of heart disease.  
  3. Check cholesterol and triglyceride levels: Work with your doctor to regularly check your cholesterol and triglyceride labs to make sure you stay within a healthy range.  
  4. Eat healthy food: Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has been tied to a lower risk of heart disease. Limit red meat, fried foods, high sodium foods, and sugary drinks and desserts.   
  5. Stay active: Regular physical activity can help keep your blood pressure in check and keep your arteries relaxed and pliable. Find an exercise that you enjoy doing and aim to get about 30 minutes of exercise per day.  
  6. Limit alcohol: Excess alcohol intake is tied to an increased risk of heart disease. Drink in moderation which means 1-2 drinks per day. An alcoholic drink is defined as a 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, or 1.5 oz liquor or spirits.   
  7. Lower stress: Too much stress can tax the heart and blood pressure even more. Find healthy ways of relaxing like taking a walk, reading a book, listening to calming music, or spending a few moments in quiet meditation or prayer each day.  

Men need to bear in mind their risk for heart disease and the associated risk factors. It’s advisable for men to keep their regular check-ups with their doctors, and complete the recommended labs. Checking your blood pressure regularly may also be beneficial, and those who struggle with high blood pressure or have a family history of hypertension may want to consider an at-home blood pressure monitor. Let’s have a look at our clinically validated kiosk type blood pressure monitor, BPBIO 750 Blood Pressure Monitor.

A Guide to Buying Your First BIA Device

By BIA, Pharmacy

When there are many different BIA devices available on the market, it can be difficult to choose. Particularly, when you’re trying to purchase your first BIA device in the hopes that it will complement your services to serve customers’ health more effectively.

An accurate BIA device could set your service apart from the competition. This step-by-step guide will help you choose the best BIA device.

BIA devices are becoming one of the most popular and convenient ways to measure body fat percentage and body composition because of their speed, convenience, and accuracy. There is no shortage of them to buy, and costs range greatly. Some are extremely affordable, while others cost upwards of tens of thousands.

Why?  What’s the difference between them?

Fundamentally, all BIA devices operate using the same method: a small, safe, electric current is sent through a person’s body.  Along the way, it encounters resistance due to the variation in water content in different parts of your body – like in fat and muscle – and that resistance is measured.  This information is then analyzed and translated into useful outputs, such as body fat percentage and lean body mass.

So if every device uses the same method, why the range in price? What are some things to consider when looking for a BIA device, especially those that influence the cost? Here, we’ll break down the most important things to look into when buying a BIA device to measure body composition.

Check the frequencies

All BIA devices use at least one electric current set at a specific frequency to measure body composition.  In the past, this frequency was traditionally set at 50 kHz.  Some devices today continue to use this single frequency.

However, the earlier research began to accumulate suggesting that single frequency devices set at 50 kHz did not accurately predict changes in total body water. The use of multiple frequencies set at a different frequencies was a superior method in terms of accuracy.  So, the first thing you will want to check when looking at BIA devices whether it is a single or multifrequency device because generally speaking, devices that use multiple frequencies are found to be more accurate.

Why are multifrequency devices typically more accurate?  The answer lies with how BIA devices measure that resistance – more accurately termed “impedance” – when the current travels through the body.

As the current travels, the water in your body will naturally resist the flow of the current as it travels.  This is called resistance.  When the current encounters a cell, the cell wall will cause a “delay” as the current builds up enough energy to pass through the cell wall.  This brief “time delay” is referred to as reactance.  Impedance is a combination of these two values.

How does this apply to frequencies? Lower frequencies don’t have enough energy to pass through cell walls easily, so they often follow an easier path by traveling around cells. This means lower frequencies are better suited for measuring extracellular water.  Conversely, higher frequencies are better suited to penetrating cell walls and can measure both intracellular and extracellular water. The end result is that those frequencies can measure all of your body water and provide you with an accurate result for your lean body mass.

Ideally, you will want a device that uses at least two frequencies – one on the lower end and the other on the higher end. The more frequencies you have, the better the device is able to gather the information required to accurately measure your total body water, and from there, your body composition.

See what outputs it provides

BIA devices range widely in capabilities and the outputs they are able to produce.  Some devices only measure your body fat percentage, while others can give much more information.  Typically, the better quality the BIA device, the more comprehensive outputs you will receive.

Every BIA device on the market will at least give body fat percentage.  Using body fat percentage as an indicator of your overall health and weight is a very useful metric and a much better tool than simply monitoring your scale weight.

Here are a few other BIA outputs to look for and some reasons why you would want to track these in addition to body fat:

  • Skeletal Muscle Mass: Skeletal Muscle Mass is the muscle that you can grow and develop through exercise and proper nutrition.  It also has a significant influence on change in Lean Body Mass.  However, Lean Body Mass can also be influenced by other factors such as body water. If you are tracking Skeletal Muscle Mass, you’ll be able to cross reference your muscle gains against your Lean Body Mass to ensure that those gains are due to muscle, not water.
  • Body Water Analysis: Since BIA devices all measure total body water via impedance, if your device can give you this information, you’ll know how much total body water you have.  If your device can further break this down into intracellular and extracellular water components, you’ll be able to understand your body water levels are properly balanced.  With that information, you’ll know if you have any unusual swelling due to inflammation, injury, etc.
  • Phase Angle: Phase Angle is a measurement of the relationship between reactance, resistance, and impedance.  It’s able to give you an idea of the integrity of your cell walls, which gives an indication of their ability to retain water.  This has an impact on your overall health.  By tracking Phase Angle, you’ll be able to get an idea about the health of your individual cells and how much water is inside them.

Find out what information it needs (important)

All BIA devices are going to require your weight at the very minimum.  For this reason, many BIA devices take the form of bathroom scales.  These devices measure your weight and calculate your body composition results using your weight at the time of testing.

However, not all BIA devices are scales.  BIA technology is being used in handheld devices for convenience, as well as devices that use adhesive electrodes and require a person to lie down while testing.  These types of devices will require a user to enter in their weight manually.  However, unless you weigh yourself right before testing, this information would have to be estimated based on your memory, which could cause inaccurate results.

Another fairly common user input requirement is age or gender.  However, these requirements aren’t to personalize your results; they’re to tell the device which equations to use to calculate your results.  In the BIA industry, these equations are known as empirically derived prediction variables – also sometimes referred to as “empirical estimations.”

For example, the average person tends to gain body fat mass as they age.  This trend has been observed over time, and equations have been developed to account for this fat gain.  By entering in your age, the BIA device will compare the raw data it gets from you and adjust it based on the data it has for your age.

BIA devices often use empirical estimations to improve the accuracy of their results.  They work on the basis of adjusting the raw results for an individual of your age and gender.  Age and gender are common to nearly all BIA devices.

Height is also a common requirement for many BIA devices. It’s an unbiased physical attribute, just like weight.  Unlike age and gender, however, height is necessary not because adjustments need to be made to results, but instead to give the BIA device a frame to understand the impedance results.

Impedance increases as height increases because the current has to physically travel further and will encounter more resistance.  However, high impedance is also associated with a greater proportion of fat mass to lean body mass.  With accurate height measurements, the BIA device will understand how to interpret the impedance values correctly, which is why nearly all BIA devices require height measurements.

Understand what’s measured and what’s not

The design of many BIA devices are such that impedance is measured for a certain section of the body, and the results of that section are used to estimate the remaining sections of the body.  Before choosing a BIA device, you should know what exactly your device is measuring and what it is estimating.

Home scales that use BIA technology to determine body composition operate by sending currents up one leg and down the other.  Impedance is only actually measured for the legs.  In order to calculate the upper body, the device will make assumptions about the composition of your body based on the composition of your legs (and if using age and gender data, adjusting for those as well).

Handheld BIA devices only measure impedance in the arms and upper body.  Similar to how the legs are measured, these types of BIA devices will estimate the lower half of the body with the results from the upper body.

Other devices that use the “Whole Body” impedance use a method that is somewhat misleading.  Unlike scales and handheld devices, the current does travel through the entire body in the sense that it travels from through both the upper and lower body.  However, “Whole Body” impedance devices do not actually directly measure the entire body.  Typically, “Whole Body” impedance devices get most of their measurement data from the arm and leg that the electrodes are placed on.  Just like handhelds and scales, these devices must estimate results for the rest of the body.

Finally, there are devices that use Direct Segmental Multifrequency-BIA technology (DSM-BIA).  These devices programmed in such a way that they analyze your body in five distinct sections – the two arms, the two legs, and the torso.

Each of these sections is analyzed independently, and from these, a measurement for the entire body is produced.  This is similar to how DEXA machines operate, and when compared against DEXA results, DSM-BIA technology was found to be accurate.  In comparison to other BIA methods, DSM-BIA offers results that are based on direct measurements, without using estimations to compensate for the areas that were not directly measured.

Summary

There are a lot of things to consider when looking for a BIA device.  When you’re assessing which device to go with, it will help you to remember the following:

  • Accuracy generally will increase with multi-frequency devices.  You’ll want at least two frequencies for reliable measurements.
  • You can do more with more results. Changes in body fat percentages can be tricky to explain if the only outputs you have are Fat and Fat Free Mass.
  • Check what information the device needs from you in order to test.  If it requires your age and/or gender, it may be giving you estimations based on the results of the general population.
  • Understand what the device is actually measuring and what it is estimating.  If accuracy is important to you, you’ll want as much of the body measured as possible.
Contact us to learn which BIA models are best for you.

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