Scan Helps Measure Your Health and Fitness Goals

DES MOINES, Iowa –Losing weight is a popular New Year's resolution. Many of us rely on a scale to let us know how we're doing, but another tool could help you track progress.

The Des Moines University Clinic offers a body composition analysis. You no longer need a physician’s order to have it done.

DMU Radiologic Technologist Brooke Clingan said, "People, especially this time of year, they want to be evaluated and get healthy. This is an excellent marker to really see improvement, especially if you're not seeing the scale move as much as you want."

The body composition scan uses a low dose x-ray to generate images of a color-coded body map. The blue shows your bones, the red shows lean muscle mass and the yellow is fat. It can mark your progress when you make lifestyle changes.

Clingan said, "This will say your fat is going down, but your muscle is coming up."

It can also help doctors see a patient's internal body fat. Dr. Paul Volker with DMU said, "That's important because your risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems is actually more related to your internal body fat composition than your external body fat composition."

Dr. Volker added it's important to have your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar checked. along with seeing your physician. "Talk about your BMI, talk about your family history, which might put you at risk for other health related problems. That's a good new year's resolution."

The scan costs $48. It isn't covered by insurance, but you can use flexible spending or health savings accounts to pay for it. You can get a scan every three months. You can find more information at Des Moines University Clinic.