A Different Way to Measure Health

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June 2, 2014


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This post is available in: Spanish

We’ve all heard the familiar advice on staying healthy — eat a nutritionally balanced diet, manage your weight, don’t smoke and exercise regularly. These suggestions certainly remain valuable, but now doctors are adding body fat analysis to their wellness assessment.

A body fat composition analysis is a quick and painless scan that measures lean and fat tissue throughout the body. With precision, the special X-ray analyzes the fat around the internal organs, called visceral fat, and the fat under the skin that you can pinch, called subcutaneous fat. High percentages of these types of fat are linked to cardiac disease, inflammatory diseases, diabetes and other health problems, according to Islon Woolf, M.D., an internist from Baptist Health Medical Group.

In an effort to promote wellness and prevention, Baptist Health is offering a free body fat composition analysis throughout the month of June at any Baptist Medical Plaza. A doctor’s prescription is required.

“This body fat analysis is the most reliable way for people to truly see their body composition,” Dr. Woolf said. “Fat can be deceptive. A person can be thin on the outside but have large amounts of visceral fat inside the body that surrounds organs such as the liver and pancreas. This can lead to disease. It is no longer just about the number on the scale.”

Dr. Woolf also explains that traditional ways to look at the body, including Body Mass Index (BMI), which evaluates weight and height, and body shape, which takes into account the circumference of the waist and hips, can be misleading.

“People used to look at their bodies as they got older and dismiss the changes as part of aging,” he said. “We now know that this is not good enough – especially in people who are not considered overweight. We need to understand the types of fat and where it is stored. We are changing the whole concept of fat.”

To schedule your free body fat composition analysis, call 786-573-6000 in Miami-Dade or 954-837-1000 in Broward, e-mail Screenings@BaptistHealth.net or visit BaptistHealth.net/BodyFat.

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