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Concept 15: Body Composition
Concept 15: Body Composition
The Facts: The Meaning and Measurement of Fatness
- Decisions about body composition should be based on more than one measurement.
- Overfat is more important than overweight in making decisions about health
- There are many ways to assess body fatness.
- Skinfold measurements are a preferred, practical method of assessing body
- Body circumference measures can be used to assess body fatness.
- High-tech devices can accurately assess body fatness.
- The body mass index (BMI) is considered to be a better measure than height-weight
charts, but it has its limitations.
- The waist-to-hip ratio is a body circumference measurement technique that
can be used in determining health risk.
- Body composition is considered as a component of health-related fitness
but can also be considered to be a component of metabolic fitness.
- Making assessments of body weight too frequently can result in making false
assumptions about body composition changes.
Health Risks Associated with Overfatness: The Facts
- Obesity has recently been elevated from a secondary to a primary risk factor
for heart disease.
- Overfatness or obesity can contribute to degenerative diseases, health problems,
and even shortened life.
- Excessive abdominal fat and excessive fatness of the upper body can increase
the risk of various diseases.
- High weight, and even relatively high body fat levels, may not increase
risk of health problems if other indicators of poor health are not present.
Health Risks Associated with Excessively Low Body Fatness: The Facts
- Excessive desire to be thin or low in body can result in health problems.
- Anorexia nervosa
- Anorexia athletica
- Female Athlete Triad
- Fear of obesity
- Conflicting news reports should not deter efforts to maintain a healthy
body fat level.
The Facts About the Origin of Overfatness
- Heredity plays a role in overfatness.
- Glandular disorders are not a cause of overfatness for most people.
- Fatness early in life leads to adult fatness.
- Changes in basal metabolic rate can be the cause of overfatness.
- "Creeping obesity" is a problem as you grow older.
- The principal cause of most overfatness is the intake of more calories than
- Excess caloric intake or calorie expenditure results in an increase in fat
The Facts About Diet, Physical Activity, and Fatness
- A combination of regular physical activity and dietary restriction is the
most effective means of losing body fat.
- Good physical activity and diet habits can be useful in maintaining desirable
- Physical activity is one effective means of controlling body fat.
- Physical activity that can be sustained for relatively long periods is probably
the most effective for losing body fat.
- Strength training can be effective in maintaining a desirable body composition.
- Appetite is not necessarily increased through exercise.
Strategies for Action: The Facts
- Making a variety of self-assessments can help you make informed decisions
about body composition.
- Estimating your basal metabolic rate (BMR) can help you determine the number
of calories you expend each day.
- Logging your daily activities can help you determine the number of calories
you expend each day.
- Counting the calories you consume each day can help you balance the calories
you expend with the calories you consume.
- Self-assessment information—especially body composition information—is personal
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