Body composition is significantly related to disease risk and physical performance. The health risks of excess adiposity, for example, are well-known, including increased risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular and coronary artery diseases, and some types of cancer. Low bone mass, leading to osteoporosis, increases risk of fragility fractures, and low muscle mass, termed sarcopenia, is associated with declining muscle strength, impaired physical function, and ultimately loss of independence and lower quality of life.

Numerous methods are available for estimating the components of interest. Although the application of many methods is limited to research and clinical settings, several simple methods are adequate for screening, with follow-up with more sophisticated techniques as needed. Body composition assessment is an important aspect of health appraisal. This entry ...

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