How is body composition measured at your center?
Our Center uses the seven-site skinfold technique, bioelectrical impedance, and Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA).
Are they comparable in terms of accuracy?
Yes. DEXA is considered the 'gold standard', but the skinfold method is also considered reliable. It has a prediction accuracy of about + three percentage points.
How do I choose the right method for me?
It helps if you know more about what is involved in each technique.
With the seven-site skinfold technique we take measurements at the scapula, back of the arm, front of the shoulder, side, abdomen, hip and thigh. It’s a little more ‘hands-on’, and takes a few minutes longer than the BIA. There is no special preparation required.
The BIA is very non-invasive, in that it only requires you to stand on a machine that looks a lot like a typical bathroom scale. It only takes a few seconds and you don’t feel a thing; plus you don’t get pinched all over. Preparation, however, requires that you be fasted for four hours, be normally hydrated, have not exercised for four hours, and have abstained from alcohol and caffeine for at least 24 hours.
For those doing an exercise test in the same appointment as a body composition test, we recommend you do the seven-site skinfold test instead of the BIA, since you might be low on energy from fasting for the required four hours.
Why is the RMR test helpful for those interested in weight loss?
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) accounts for the majority of energy expended during the day. Measuring your RMR will enable the dietitian to adjust your intake goals to meet the needs of your body, without putting you at risk of taking in too few calories.
What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?
A registered dietitian (RD) is an expert on food and nutrition who has met several qualifications including having a bachelor's degree or higher in a program focusing on nutrition and dietetics from an accredited college or university, has performed a supervised internship, and has passed a national registry exam. Dietitians at BCSM have their RD license, and also have specific experience working with athletes. In comparison, a nutritionist does not need specific educational or practical experience to call themselves a nutritionist.