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Measuring Fat % in Local Areas

Location, Location, Location…

Similar to this real estate mantra, the location of fat in our bodies matters as it impacts the outcome of our health.

Over the last decade or so, body mass index (BMI) has been used to determine a person’s risk for Coronary Heart Disease, insulin resistance and hypertension. BMI is also currently being used by the Center for Disease Control to categorize the US population as being underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese¹. As we know, in order to calculate BMI you need to divide your current weight by your height. By using this method, many people, especially athletes and bodybuilders, are considered overweight or obese. However, more recent research shows that simply using BMI as an indicator for certain health risks is not good enough.

BMI is not a good predictor of risk for certain diseases. According to the “obesity paradox,” a plot diagram of the relative risk of mortality and morbidity against BMI follows a U­shaped or J­shaped curve (pictured below). Mortality increases as BMI increases above 25 kg/m² and also as BMI decreases below 25 kg/m².² So the question is: How can someone with an “overweight” BMI score and someone with a “normal weight” BMI score have the same or similar risk for mortality.

The importance lies in the location of the fat content. Research has shown that the amount of body fat a person has, is not a good predictor of risk for disease. However, individuals with a higher concentration of central body fat or central obesity were shown to have a higher risk for mortality and certain diseases.

Even those who are considered “skinny fat” can deceive the naked eye and visually look to be within a normal weight range. BMI doesn’t work. Widely used skin fold calipers can’t pinpoint where body fat is accumulating. Neither hydrostatic weighing nor the BodPod can give you accurate coordinates as to where your body fat is hiding.

The Skulpt scanner allows you to accurately measure where your body fat is hiding. Additionally, by being able to measure the individual areas, the scanner allows you to know the results of your workout regimen faster than traditional measurement methods which can take up to 16 weeks to show any changes in body composition.³

Location certainly matters.


  1. Defining Overweight and Obesity. (2012, August 27). Retrieved May 5, 2015, from
  2. Hainer, V. (2013). Obesity Paradox Does Exist. Diabetes Care, 36(Supplement), 276­281. Retrieved May 5, 2015, from
  3. Spring, T., Greenberg, V., Deleo, K., Caplan, M., & McGoff, S. (2013). Introduction to Cardiorespiratory Assessment and Programming. In ACSM Certified Personal Trainer Study Guide (2005­2012 ed., p. 43). Fitness Education Network, LLC.