Why does My Vital Metrics need to weigh in on this?
What are the key aspects of a DEXA calculation?
So What are Matt and Ben’s REAL Figures?
How did this situation come about?
What are the problems with this method and approach?
So it was the scientific standard?
A few percent here or there – what does it matter?
Actually it matters a lot. If we take Matt’s figures. If we were to accept 16.9% – there’s certain actions that we would advise if people wanted to get leaner. Above 15% body fat for males (25% for females), there is still a likelihood of some insulin resistance. It’s enough that tightly controlling more insulin through carb reduction, careful meal timing etc. may be a good strategy to help the person cut further. At 12.3% we can be fairly certain that insulin is well under control, and so we would be looking to maximise the use of carbohydrates to fuel workouts appropriately. Similarly it could affect what people choose to do next. We would not recommend someone who was really at 17% to commence a bulking phase (if they wished to go through bulk/cut cycles) – it’s just too likely that the bulking will be inefficient and put on more fat. At 12.3% however, that’s a completely different story.
Similarly for Ben. There’s a big difference between prioritising fat loss as a health concern (which we would for a young man over 20% body fat) and telling the person they are healthy as they are. If they want to change for aesthetic or lifestyle factors, that’s a different thing. It can not only affect the plan, but more importantly can have the potential to create real anxiety and concern in the client.
I’ve had a DEXA Scan – how do I know if it’s the NHANES Calculation?
If you took your scan in the UK, and not with My Vital Metrics, then chances are you’ve been given an NHANES calculation. If in doubt check your report – you will see the NHANES BCA tag on the report itself, like below
I’ve had an NHANES DEXA? How do I get my real body fat?
If you’d like to calculate your real body fat percentage, just grab your NHANES DEXA report, and plug some key figures into the calculator to the left – it will calculate your real DEXA body fat %
Once again, DEXA scanning services have not done anything wrong in choosing the NHANES standard. Further, the manufacturer recommends that if a facility has started a study using NHANES, then they should continue. It would be a problem for any facility to switch standards and keep consistency for their clients.
Of course if you’re interested in your real figures going forward we’d recommend then re-baselining with My Vital Metrics, so that you can get your real body fat figures from this point forward.
It’s important to know that each DEXA is uniquely calibrated also, so no two DEXA machines will be exactly alike. However My Vital Metrics is the only publicly accessible facility in the UK which calibrates to a Whole Body Phantom – this is a precision tool which contains a fixed and known amount of fat, bone, and lean mass. By scanning this regularly we are able to see and correct for any discrepancies in the testing. If we found that our machine was drifting or reading figures on the phantom which were not correct, we would cancel all appointments until it was fixed and recalibrated.
As we said, this is a very specific research-grade process and My Vital Metrics is the only facility in the UK who ensures the ongoing accuracy of our machine this way.
If you’ve any questions or concerns about your past scans, or anything we’ve raised here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.