The Caliper Method
By measuring skin-fold thickness from four areas on the body, a lot can be learned about health. This is highly correlated with body fat and health status. It also is a way to monitor progress as diet and life styles are changed. This along with blood tests can give an excellent way to learn more about health conditions such as diabetes, weight considerations, and related concerns.
Caliper Measurements vs BMI and BIA
BMI – Body Mass Index
This is based upon total weight compared to height. It is often grossly inaccurate. For example, a conditioned athlete may be considered obese on a BMI chart due to their bone and muscle density. A person with a low muscle mass and osteoporosis can show up lean on the same chart.
BIA – Bioelectric Impedance Analyzer
This instrument measures skin resistance with interpretations on resistance, reactance, capacitance, phase angle, BMI, fat mass, intracellular water, and other body indices that supposedly show useful information. In a research mode, it has its place. However, reproducibility has not been very high in a typical clinic setting. Different body hydration status can change the readings from test to test.
The information from simple caliper measurements is showing better and more useful results than that from these high cost BIA instruments.
Dr. Richard Maurer (ND) has researched the caliper method resulting in many years of successful patient success.
Cordell E Logan, ND