Primary Care

Primary care providers are responsible for caring for patients across the spectrum of health from those with malnutrition and sarcopenia to those with severe obesity, and are limited by the use of simple metrics like weight/BMI to assess health. Body composition assessment with BIA gives insight to what’s inside and can guide care to optimize health and longevity and improve health outcomes.

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How to use Body Composition

Primary care providers are faced with an aging population and more and more patients living with obesity who seek care for their chronic diseases. Changes in obesity treatment options, including new anti-obesity medications that demonstrate effective weight loss in the long term, mean more and more general practitioners will need to provide comprehensive obesity care.

Weight loss alone is an insufficient outcome to measure progress, body composition is important to know where weight loss is coming from (muscle, fat, water) in order to adapt nutrition and exercise recommendations to keep weight off long term. Aging patients, those with chronic disease, as well as those pursuing wellness and anti-aging procedures need to know how their body composition measures up in order to achieve optimal health and stay motivated an compliant with treatment plans. Bioimpedance analysis (BIA) can be done with convenient, accurate scales positioned in the office for all patients to check in and make changes to their lifestyles.

Selected Parameters for Primary Care


Weight and BMI are important markers for general health and are used to screen patients for health risks or need for further assessment or intervention.

Fat mass %

Fat mass percent is the proportion of fat mass making up body weight and is important as interventions target changes in body composition and reducing body fat

Waist Circumference

Waist circumference is a useful screening tool for health risks that come with central or abdominal adiposity, and is a critical component of the Visceral Adipose Tissue (VAT) measurement, which has metabolic health implications

Skeletal Muscle Mass

Muscle mass declines as we age so visualizing levels in comparison to a reference group helps to establish baseline and monitor trends as patients work to preserve or increase muscle mass

Water is the largest body component and varies by gender and age, approximately 2/3 is intracellular and 2/3 is extracellular. Muscles are made up of more water than fat, so water levels will vary based on body composition.

Phase Angle

Phase Angle is a measure of cellular health, integrity and distribution of water within the cell, and decreases with age. A low Phase Angle is associated with decreased muscle and malnutrition.

Resting Energy Expenditure

Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) is energy expended without movement and combined with a physical activity level can estimate total energy expenditure. Using fat mass and fat free mass instead of weight to calculate REE gives a better estimate of calories needed per day prior to adjustment for weight loss/maintenance/gain goal


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