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Body Composition: Knowing Your Numbers with DrKumo

The DrKumo Smart Scale is not just an ordinary smart scale. It is designed to remotely monitor patients with weight related problems. As such, it measures and computes 12 body composition parameters.

There are important numbers that need monitoring. No, it’s not your age. It’s your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar level, and body composition. These numbers may indicate a high-risk health condition that may eventually lead to sudden death if not continuously monitored. In this article, we will focus on the numbers that are linked to one’s body composition. Body composition is the percentage of fat, water, bone, and muscle in the body. These percentages may be computed manually or automatically with the use of a smart scale like the DrKumo Smart Scale.

Body Composition Monitoring with DrKumo

The DrKumo Smart Scale is not just an ordinary smart scale. It is designed to remotely monitor patients with weight related problems. As such, it measures and computes 12 body composition parameters. These parameters are the Body Mass Index (BMI), Body Fat Percentage, Muscle Mass, Body Water, Visceral Fat, Bone Mass, Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), Protein, Subcutaneous Fat, Standard Weight, Body Weight, and Heart Rate.

1. Body Mass Index (BMI)

According to CDC, BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI may be an indicator of high body fatness. It is an easy screening method for weight category such as underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obesity. For adults, the healthy range of BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. Anything below 18.5 is underweight. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 would be classified as overweight and a BMI over 30 would be classified as an obese.

BMI for Adults
UnderweightBelow 18.5
Normal18.5 – 24.9
Overweight25 – 29.9
Obese30 and above

Generally, a person with high BMI has high body fat composition and would be considered as overweight or obese, but this may not be true to athletes. Athletes’ BMI are usually high because of their muscular body built but they are not obese or overweight.

2. Body Fat Percentage

Body Fat Percentage is the percentage of fat in the total body weight. According to the American Council on Exercise the average body fat percentage is between 25 and 31% for women and between 18 and 24% for men.

Healthy Body Fat Percentage
Men18 – 24%
Women25 – 31%

Body fats serve as the energy of the body in order to perform any physical activities. As such, the body needs a good amount of fat to accomplish its daily tasks. However, too much of it may be detrimental to one’s health and well-being in the long run. In fact, studies show that too much body fat may significantly increase the risk of having chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and so on.

3. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

The BMR is the daily minimum level of energy or calories the body needs to perform basic functions when it is completely at rest. These basic functions are the activities of the vital organs, such as the heart, lungs, the nervous system, liver, kidneys, sex organs, muscles and skin.

The BMR may help a person estimate the minimal amount of calories he needs to take in to live every day. It may also help him to evaluate the total number of calories he needed to ingest to keep up with his weight plan whether to maintain, loss, or gain weight.

Unfortunately, as the human body ages, the BMR will decrease due to the loss of muscle mass. This in a natural age-related muscle loss also known as sarcopenia. According to Harvard Health Publishing, a person over his 30s will begin to loss muscle as much as 3 to 5% per decade. Most men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetimes. Moreover, according to a 2015 report from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, people with sarcopenia have 2.3 times the risk of having a low-trauma fracture from a fall, such as a broken hip, collarbone, leg, arm, or wrist.

Despite sarcopenia, muscle can always be rebuilt and maintained through a continuous monitoring of muscle mass and BMR in order to adjust treatment or health maintenance plan.

4. Muscle Mass

Muscle mass is the computation or estimated weight of muscle in the body. This includes the skeletal muscles, cardiac and digestive muscles, and the water contained in these muscles. Normal percentage of muscle mass vary from one person to another. There is no standard range for it. However, health enthusiasts agree that a higher muscle mass increases metabolic rate, prevents falls, and progression or development of chronic illnesses. In fact, according to a study published in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, a higher level of muscle mass may also delay, if not prevent, the development of diabetes.

5. Body Water

Body Water is the total amount of fluid in the body. The healthy Total Body Water ranges from 45 to 60% for women and between 50 and 65% for men.

Healthy Total Body Water
Men50 – 65%
Women45 – 60%

The human body largely consists of water. Body water regulates the body temperature and helps eliminate waste through sweating and urinating, thus, improving the general well-being of a person. Consequently, it is recommended by experts to keep the body hydrated by drinking at least two liters of water every day.

6. Visceral Fat

Visceral fat is a body fat stored deep in the core abdominal area, surrounding and protecting the vital organs. The healthy Visceral Fat level ranges from 1 to 12.

Healthy Visceral Fat Level
1-12

In the healthcare industry, it is known that a high amount of visceral fat is linked to insulin resistance. This may lead to glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes. However, research suggests that with the right amount of visceral fat, the risk of having chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes may be reduced.

7. Bone Mass

Bone Mass is the computation or estimated weight of bone mineral in the body. Studies suggest that a healthy bone mass for women weighing less than 50 kg is 1.95 kg. For women weighing between 50 to 75 kg, the healthy bone mass is 2.40 kg and for those weighing more than 75 kg, the healthy bone mass is 2.90 kg. On the other hand, for men weighing less than 65 kg, the healthy bone mass is 2.65 kg. For those weighing between 65 to 95 kg, the healthy bone mass is 3.29 kg and those that are over 95 kg, the healthy bone mass is 3.69 kg.

Healthy Bone Mass for Men
Less than 65 kg (143.30 lb)2.65 kg (5.84 lb)
65 – 95 kg (143.30 – 209.44 lb)3.29 kg (7.25 lb)
Over 95 kg (209.44 lb)3.69 kg (8.13 lb)
Healthy Bone Mass for Women
Less than 50 kg (110.23 lb)1.95 kg (4.299 lb)
50 – 75 kg (110.23 – 165.34 lb)2.40 kg (5.29 lb)
Over 75 kg (209.44 lb)2.90 kg (6.39 lb)

Eating foods rich in calcium and by doing weight lifting exercise will help maintain a healthy bone mass.

8. Protein

Protein Mass is the amount of protein in the body. The healthy range of protein mass in the body is 17% or more.

Healthy Protein Mass
17 % or  more

Low protein mass may be associated with high body fats. To reach the healthy range of protein mass, one’s daily calories should consist of up to 12 to 20% of protein.  The body as it age will need more protein due to anabolic resistance which lowers the body’s ability to break down and synthesize protein.

In a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a modestly higher intakes of high-quality protein, evenly distributed throughout the day, may maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis, thereby contributing to maintaining muscle mass in older adults.

9. Subcutaneous Fat

Subcutaneous fat is the stored fat just beneath the skin.  The healthy range of subcutaneous fat is between 20 and 35% for women and between 8 and 25% for men.

Healthy Subcutaneous Fat Level
Men8 – 25%
Women20 – 35%

With the right amount of subcutaneous fat, the body is ensured that it has energy to perform extra activities. Studies shows that as the body ages, fats would likely to sit around the waist even if the weight and amount of body fat do not significantly change.

10. Standard Weight

Standard weight is the estimated healthy weight of a person based on the height and modified by gender, age, and body-built.

11. Body Weight

The measure of the weight of a person’s body in pounds or kilograms.

12. Heart Rate

Heart rate is the speed of the heartbeat measured by the number of contractions of the heart per minute. The healthy heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM) when resting and between 130 and 160 BPM when exercising.

How DrKumo Smart Scale Works in Remote Patient Monitoring

DrKumo Smart Scale is equipped with sensors that should touch the palm of the patient’s feet when he steps on the scale. These sensors will send electrical impulses that will run from the legs to the rest of the body. The electrical impulses will encounter varying levels of resistance from the different tissues and substances. The electrical resistance will be transmitted to the DrKumo Mobile App where the body composition of the patient will be computed.

DrKumo Smart Scale is given to a patient who needs continuous body composition monitoring. The smart scale and the patient’s smartphone must be connected via Bluetooth in order to share data. The patient would simply click the Autopilot on his DrKumo Mobile App and step on the scale, wait for few seconds and Voila! All the body composition parameters mentioned above will be measured and computed. These numbers will then appear on the patient’s DrKumo Mobile App in order for him to view. These data will then be transmitted to a cloud database to which it will be stored and be accessed by his healthcare provider. From these data, the healthcare provider will know how manage the treatment or health maintenance plan of the patient.

RELATED ARTICLE: More Than Just a Simple Scale: DrKumo Scale Can Measure 15 Parameters

Importance of Continuously Monitoring Your Body Composition

According to the CDC, deficiency or excess numbers in one’s body composition may lead to all causes of death and/or chronic diseases such as high blood pressure (hypertension), type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and list goes on. Actually, studies show that people who gained 11 to 22 pounds after reaching their 20s are more likely to develop heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and gallstones as compared to those who gained less. The risk is even greater to those who gained more than 22 pounds. Moreover, unhealthy loss of body composition may also be an indicator of many health risks. These include losing muscle, decreased metabolism, nutritional deficiencies, gallstones and so on.

To some, especially to the athletes and those who have active life style, the numbers in the scale do not play a significant role in their health conditions. However, to chronically ill patient, these numbers are very important. It will help them and their healthcare providers to determine the right treatment and health maintenance plan, and adjust them at any time whenever needed, thus, giving rise to the need to continuously monitor their body composition.

 

Reference:

  1. Assessing Your Weight (2020 September 17) https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/index.html
  2. About Adult BMI (2020 September 17) https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/index.html
  3. Kravitz, L. and Heyward, V. Getting a Grip on Body Composition
  4. https://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/underbodycomp.html
  5. Healthy Weight. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/

 

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