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Body Composition. Body Composition Defined. The distribution of fat throughout the body in relation to bone, muscle, and other tissue . Do you know why our bodies need some fat on them?. Fat insulates body tissue Fat provides energy Fat helps break down certain vitamins. Food For Thought….

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body composition defined
Body Composition Defined

The distribution of fat throughout the body in relation to bone, muscle, and other tissue.

do you know why our bodies need some fat on them
Do you know why our bodies need some fat on them?
  • Fat insulates body tissue
  • Fat provides energy
  • Fat helps break down certain vitamins
food for thought
Food For Thought…

The only thing a scale can measure is:

  • gravity’s pull on your body

A Scale can’t measure:

  • Whether or not you’re eating well
  • Your fitness level
  • Your self esteem
  • How good a friend you are
  • Your sense of humour
  • Your insight and perception
  • How good a worker you are
  • Your soul
methods of measuring body composition
Methods of Measuring Body Composition:
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Waist Circumference (WC) + Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR)
  • Some scales are now designed to provide you with percentage of body fat etc.
body mass index bmi
Body Mass Index (BMI):

Gives a rough indication to whether your body weight (mass) is appropriate for your height. It does not directly measure the amount of body fat.

Limitation: BMI does not work well for children, teenagers, the elderly or for very fit individuals. This appraisal does not distinguish between body fat and dense muscle, nor does it take into account where this fat resides. See chart.

waist circumference wc bmi
Waist Circumference (WC) + BMI

An effective method in predicting the health risks that come with excess fat weight around your midsection. To get a pretty good indication of your body comp, combine your WC measurement with your BMI.

Place a measuring tape around your waist (midway between the bottom of the rib cage and the hip bone above the belly button).

See Handout for more info. On this procedure.

waist to hip ratio
Waist-to-Hip Ratio:

The WHR looks at the relative proportion of fat stored around your waist and hips. It is a simple but useful measure of body fat distribution.

All you need to perform this appraisal is a partner and a measuring tape. Simply follow the steps on the next slide.

whr continued
WHR continued
  • Stand up straight, with your stomach relaxed.
  • Find the narrowest point at your waist (usually above the belly button).
  • Record your waist measurement in either cm or inches.
  • Find the widest point at your hips and buttocks and record your hip measurement.
  • Divide the first measurement (your waist) by the second (your hips), and this is your WHR.
whr continued1
WHR continued

The higher the WHR, the greater the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease.

Note: These studies were done on adult subjects, so more research is needed to determine accurate values for teenagers.

have you ever wondered
Have You Ever Wondered…
  • Why is my body shaped the way that it is?
  • Is my weight a healthy weight?
  • Why do I have trouble losing (or gaining) weight?
  • Is the way my body looks a product of my own choices or fate (matters outside of my control)?
1 gender
#1 - Gender


Heredity or a Behavioural Choice that you can control?

Genetically, men have more muscles and therefore a faster metabolic rate that burns calories faster than women.


2 body type
#2 – Body Type


Heredity or Behavioural?

Your Body Shape is determined by bone structure, muscles and fat proportions. There are

3 Main Body Types: Endomorph, Mesomorph, Ectomorph.

Most people are a combination of all 3 types.


It is important to note that body types are based on distribution of bone, muscle, and fat (not weight). Understanding your body type will help you to develop a realistic body image of yourself.

teen truth body image
TEEN TRUTH – Body image

  • Soft, round body with hips
  • Average to large frame
  • Have a higher proportion of body fat
  • Broad hips with high hourglass waistline and curved prominent belly
  • Small bones and little muscular development or definition
  • long, lean body
  • Narrow, short torso
  • Very long, slim legs and arms
  • Frame is light with little muscle or fat
  • Delicate bones, poorly developed or defined muscles
  • Usually thin
  • May be able to eat large amounts of food without gaining weight
  • Broad shouldered and narrow hips
  • Body is muscular
  • Large bones and heavy muscle can give higher body weights strong and muscular
  • Chest and shoulder dominant over stomach
  • Low waistline with less indentation than endomorph
  • Well-defined muscles
  • Sturdy, athletic body
3 metabolism
#3 - Metabolism


Heredity or Behavioural?

The amount of energy your body needs to maintain vital functions like digestion, respiration and circulation. The higher the metabolism, the faster your body burns calories.

Genetics can have some influence, but you can also increase your metabolism by increasing your muscle mass (through weight training).

Recent research suggests that you can also increase your metabolism by eating certain foods such as spicy foods.

4 lifestyle
#4 - Lifestyle


Heredity or Behavioural?

The choices you make about exercise and eating. Are you active? Do you eat fast foods? Does your culture eat foods with oil or sauces made with heavy cream?

Behaviour Choice

5 emotions
#5- Emotions


Heredity or Behavioural?

Includes how you feel and act under stress or low self esteem. Do you eat more or make bad choices when you are upset??

Behaviour Choice

6 set point theory
#6- Set Point Theory


Definition Continued…

Some research suggests that genetics plays a significant role in determining body weight and shape. Just as individuals have a genetically predetermined weight range which the body tries to defend. Set-point is defined as the stable weight range that the body maintains when one is not trying to control it.

In most individuals, set-point can fluctuate between at least 5-10 pounds and cannot be permanently lowered through restrictive dieting. This may explain why people regain the weight they lose when on calorie reduced diets.


health risks of being
Health Risks of Being…



  • Heart irregularities
  • Lowered resistance to infection
  • Reduced ability to fight disease
  • Chronic fatigue (tired!)
  • Anemia = low iron
  • Diarrhea
  • Osteoporosis later in life (weak bones)
  • Psychological distress, depression (from low confidence and low self-esteem)
  • Eating disorders
  • Distorted body image
  • Heart disease
  • Depression
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Hypertension (High BP)
  • Complications in Pregnancy
  • Maturity onset diabetes (Type 2)
  • Respiratory illness
  • High blood cholesterol levels
  • Some cancers
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Arthritis (sore joints)
  • Eating disorders
  • Distorted body image
  • The above risks become more prevalent among those who are obese for a long period of time.