Anthropometric Measurements

In our dietetic office weight, height, body regions are measured, as well as estimation of the Basal Metabolic Rate and Body Mass Index (BMI). We also measure the percentage of body fat. Body fat levels are determined by genetic factors, physical activity, sex, age, and diet of each individual. Generally, the desired thresholds for healthy adults are 10-16% for men and 20-26% for women. The methods most used for estimating body fat are bio-electrical impedance analysis and by the use of fat calipers.

Bio-electrical impedance

This is a simple, painless and fast method. It is now the most widespread. The dietitian places the electrodes with a very low voltage current in one hand and one foot. In this case the calculations are made by the machine itself, so the result comes out immediately. In order for the measurement to be accurate before being subjected to it, you should note the following:

  • Have not exercised vigorously for 12 hours
  • Have not consumed liquids and food for 3-4 hours before measuring
  • Have not consumed alcohol for 24 hours
  • Women should not have menstruation
  • Do not take medications that affect the body's hydration status, such as diuretics

Measurement of body fat with fat calipers

The dietitian, with the help of fat calipers (tongue-like instrument) measures fat in various parts of the body (e.g. a tricuspid arm, an armpit, a thigh, etc.) by lifting and pushing the skin. Special equations are then used to calculate the total fat percentage. It is a fairly accurate method if done correctly. This method is not suitable for over-obese people, because the width of the caliper may not be enough to make the measurement.

Measurement of waist circumference

Measuring the waist circumference is a simple and useful indicator of the fat distribution evaluation. It appears that men with a waist circumference greater than 94 cm and women with a waist circumference greater than 80 cm are at increased risk for metabolic and cardiovascular complications.

Calculation of Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index is defined as the quotient of weight by square height and classifies individuals as underweight, overweight and obese. Because of its easy calculation, it is a widespread diagnostic tool for the potential health problems of a person in relation to their weight. Calculation of the Body Mass Index is a good guide to the general health of the individual, which can highlight weight-related health problems. Although this indicator is largely credible for the general population, it should not be used in athletes, as it gives false conclusions if muscle mass levels are elevated.

Measurement of Basal Metabolic Rate

The Basal Metabolic Rate represents the energy (calories) required to maintain the functions of body systems. It is a component of a person's total energy requirements, along with the physical activity and the thermic effect of the food. The Basal Metabolic Rate is affected by age, gender, lean body mass, and various hormones. The most affordable and practical way to estimate Basal Metabolic Rate is to use equations.