Many of us step on the bathroom scale to tell us if we are healthy. If we see a “normal” number on the scale, we can assume that we are perfectly fine and not at risk for heart disease, diabetes, or other ailments associated with a person who is considered obese, right? This assumption is not necessarily true!
WHAT SARCOPENIA IS AND WHY IT MATTERS
It is often difficult to look at someone and know if they are metabolically healthy. Most people would look at a person with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 21 (normal 19-24), and say they are slim – they definitely would not think they are obese. Unfortunately, a BMI of 21 does not protect you from obesity and all the metabolic problems associated with it. Body weight is only a number. IT IS THE BODY COMPOSITION THAT IS MOST IMPORTANT!
As we get older, our body changes – especially in postmenopausal women. We start losing muscle each year (and building up fat), unless we take action to maintain our lean body mass. A person with a normal weight or BMI, but a high body fat percentage is at as much risk for metabolic disease – coronary artery disease, diabetes, hypertension and stroke- as someone who is obviously obese. This condition of having a low muscle mass and high body fat percentage is called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia affects approximately 30% of individuals over the age of 60!
Below is a body composition done on a female patient which shows a weight of 108.8 lbs, a BMI of 21.3, an extremely low muscle mass and a body fat percentage of 40.5% (obesity in women= body fat>32%). So, this very slim woman actually has a diagnosis of obesity. The reason this is important is due to the metabolic risk factors associated with this diagnosis. In fact, this person has suffered from heart disease.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
In order to maintain our muscle mass, it is important to get adequate protein in our diets and increase our physical activity. Getting a body composition done, even if you are at a normal weight, can help you predict your risk for metabolic disease. This is especially important for those of us that are getting older.
At Indiana Medical Weight Loss and Wellness Center, we can assess your current overall health. With the use of our Body Composition machine, we can determine if you are at risk for heart disease and provide you with the necessary nutritional and exercise guidance to reverse and eliminate sarcopenia to improve your overall quality of life. If you would like more information, please call us at 765-373-8253 or click here to book an appointment.