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Military Health System

The 'BodPod' Measures Body Fat and Fat-Free Mass

Image of Meagan Loughanne, a health educator at Aberdeen Proving Ground Army Wellness Center, Maryland, conducts a BodPod assessment on Sgt. Abdel P. Moluh. This simple and effective assessment provides clients with an accurate measurement of their body fat percentage, fat-free mass and fat mass in pounds. Based on the client’s goals, the health educator will provide tailored education and coaching. Meagan Loughanne, a health educator at Aberdeen Proving Ground Army Wellness Center, Maryland, conducts a BodPod assessment on Sgt. Abdel P. Moluh. This simple and effective assessment provides clients with an accurate measurement of their body fat percentage, fat-free mass and fat mass in pounds. Based on the client’s goals, the health educator will provide tailored education and coaching.

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Step into this oblong, egg-shaped machine for just five minutes and you'll receive a detailed analysis of your body composition measuring your fat mass and your fat-free mass, including blood, organs, and muscle.

Known as the "BodPod", the device can quickly assess your body composition with a degree of accuracy that once required far more costly and cumbersome methods.

The BodPod is a next-generation body composition device that uses air displacement to measure the density of your whole body to determine body composition and resting metabolic rate.

The device offers a more sophisticated measurement of your body composition than the traditional metric of Body Mass Index, or BMI, which only measures weight with respect to height. BMI does not measure the amount of weight composed of fat versus fat-free lean muscle mass.

BMI is useful as a marker of health. However, body fat percentage is a better indicator of an individual's overall health.

The BodPod specifically measures body composition, and it uses different formulas based on ethnicity (which can account for differences in bone density and thoracic capacity, for example).

The BodPod system is in use at numerous Army and Air Force installations, including 35 Army Wellness Centers (AWCs)/Armed Forces Wellness Centers (AFWCs).

Individual data can be tracked in a centralized data collection system, allowing any client to track his or her progress as they move from installation to installation.

For those who are claustrophobic, the device has a large window that may help reduce your anxiety about being in a closed-in space.

The assessment requires clients to wear Lycra or spandex on their body and head, such as a swimsuit and swimmer's cap.

Army Wellness Centers/Armed Forces Wellness Centers

The BodPod can measure improvements in body composition as part of the wellness centers' holistic approach to body weight management and healthy lifestyles. The device and all other wellness center services are available to all service members, their families, retirees and DOD civilians.

In addition to tracking an individual's progress to become healthier, these wellness centers' core programs include stress management, healthy sleep habits, nutrition, tobacco-free living, and other lifestyle habits that can be markers for troop fitness and resiliency across the military.

Along with improving fitness, wellness center programs can directly impact readiness by reducing lost or limited duty time. The primary goals of the program are to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injury, improve overall performance, and enhance the ability of individuals to maintain lifelong healthy behaviors.

Check out the location of your nearest wellness center or schedule an appointment. All 35 centers worldwide use the BodPod.

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Last Updated: June 22, 2022
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