Age-Related Changes in Body Composition

  • 8 Pages
  • Published On: 29-11-2023
Question 2:

Body composition is considered as the crucial health as well as performance variable. Clinical research suggests that water is the major component if the human body which accounts for the majority of the proportion of the body composition. Fats and protein are present in the body in comparatively smaller amount (Costa et al. 2018). The minerals ad primary bones account for the small part of the body composition. As people grow older, there occur severe changes in the amount of these body composition which appear as the changes in the shape and size of face and texture if the skin. Cross-sectional studies have shown that the amount of body water reduces with age. The clinical intervention has suggested that the reason behind reducing the body water with growing age is decreased in the intracellular water. However, this statement is not supported by longitudinal studies. The longitudinal studies mention that although there are some changes in the body water with age. There are no or little changes in the relationship between the fat-free mass ad the body water with ageing. The non-fat composition of the body is called as the fat-free mass (FFM) (Tournadre et al. 2017). Water, protein and bone minerals are termed as the FFT. On the contrary to the cross-sectional data, the longitudinal study has presented the fact that although the amount of FFT within body changes with the age, the overall proportion of the body water and the FFT remain same of change in very little amount. The cross-sectional studies have shown that with ageing the distribution of fat on the facial skin changes. With ageing, there are some areas that lose the fat such as cheeks, head and neck. Also, there are some areas in which data is accumulated with ageing such as mouth and jaw (Calvani, et al. 2017). A longitudinal study has mentioned that, due to the changes in the fat pads within body, there occurs the fat deficiency and fat accumulation in different parts, which change the overall fat composition of the body. With ageing there is loss of the expansion ad resorption capacity of bines which changes the overall bone composition. In case of muscle, with ageing there is loss of muscles tissues, ligaments and muscle mass that reduce the overall muscle activities.


There are different factors that contribute to changes in the body composition. These factors are hormonal changes with ageing, fat reabsorption, genetics, sex, nutrition, menopause and types of activities (Rier et al. 2018.). In case of women, with ageing there are huge hormonal changes occurs in them such as reduction of estrogenic. Oestrogen is associated with storing fats within muscles and tissues. Therefore, reduces oestrogen level increase food intake and appetite which enhances the fat storage insides body. Cortisol is called stress hormone. Evidence suggests that generally with ageing the secretion of Cortisol increases which it considers to be associated with increased fat accumulation in the midsection of people. Types of activities that people perform influence the amount of body composition. For example, the more aerobic activity enlaces the oxygenation I the lung alveoli thereby improves the metabolism. Therefore, people who are more involved with aerobic exercise are more likely to have lower body fats, proper eater level inside body and good amount of protein and minerals into the bones. Nutritional is the most important factors that influence the changes in the body composition, with ageing, people change their ways of food selection and pattern of food intake and amount of food consumed, that impacts on their overall body composition. Evidence suggests that, a normal person need 2500 kcal energy for supporting the body weight. Sometimes people consume more calories as compared to the calories they need to support the proper balance of their body composition, which then causes the accumulation of body fat. Sometimes the selection of foods is wrong m for many aged people, which cause the protein deficiency in them therefore they suffer from arthritis (Staats et al. 2018). Another controversial factors that are considered to contribute to the changes in the body composition with ageing are the genes. Some researches show that, although the amount of body composition is strongly related to the nutrition intake, environmental factors and physical factors, there is also a strong connection of biological factors. Some evidence mentioned that, there are some genes that control the fat accumulation, protein composition and water balance inside the body, which are then transferred to offspring from the parents. On the country to this statement, there are many arguments, that suggest that genes are not involved in maintaining body composition, but they can only influxes the biological processes that are associated with maintaining eth body compisy7tion such as metabolism, digestion and respiration this is why people with a genetic history of diabetes, bronchitis and lung infection has a tendency to have deficiency in FFT.

There are many ways to prevent the negative effect of the changes of body composition (Rier et al. 2018). Such taking age-appropriate nutrition, doing regular physical exercise, improving the quality of living such as taking sufficient sleep, rising early morning, sleep early at night and taking healthy and timely meal. In addition to this, people must consider some other factors such as regular checking and monitoring the body weight, protein base, heartbeat, pulse, cholesterol, sugar and blood counts.

Different tools can be used in case of measuring the body composition. In case of measuring the body fats generally four methods are used such as skinfold, DEXA, Ultrasound and circumferences (Costa et al. 2018). Skinfold is considered as the useful method in measuring the fat mass of the entire body. The usefulness of this process is it is highly portable and easy to carry as well as use. The limitation of this process is that, this process uses the mathematic calculation to measure the fat mass within the body by grasping the skin by the callipers. Therefore, it needs professional hand to measure the calculation, otherwise any wrong measure can mislead the entre measurements.

The underwater weighting is useful in measuring the body weight because if correctly perfumes it measure the perfect weigh of the fat mass inside the body by measuring the under-water body weight (Costa et al. 2018). The limitation of this process is that, while performing this test, the person needs to expel all the air into the lung, which is quite difficult for person with lung infection or respiratory disease. Therefore, this test is not appropriate t al people. Bio Electrical Impedance Analysis is used is terms of measuring the total body water. This process is useful as it determines how much amount of water is accumulated into the tissues. It determines the resistance of the applied current to measure the volume of cylinder’s fluid contents. The limitations of this process are that this process is affected by the ion concentration, changes in the body water content in the trunk area that has the less effect on the resistance than that on the changes in the water content.

Reference List:

Calvani, R., Marini, F., Cesari, M., Buford, T.W., Manini, T.M., Pahor, M., Leeuwenburgh, C., Bernabei, R., Landi, F. and Marzetti, E., 2017. Systemic inflammation, body composition, and physical performance in old community‐dwellers. Journal of cachexia, sarcopenia and muscle, 8(1), pp.69-77.

Costa, T.M.D.R.L., Costa, F.M., Jonasson, T.H., Moreira, C.A., Boguszewski, C.L. and Borba, V.Z.C., 2018. Body composition and sarcopenia in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Endocrine, 60(1), pp.95-102.

Öztürk, Z.A., Türkbeyler, İ.H., Abiyev, A., Kul, S., Edizer, B., Yakaryılmaz, F.D. and Soylu, G., 2018. Health‐related quality of life and fall risk associated with age‐related body composition changes; sarcopenia, obesity and sarcopenic obesity. Internal medicine journal, 48(8), pp.973-981.

Rier, H.N., Jager, A., Sleijfer, S., van Rosmalen, J., Kock, M.C. and Levin, M.D., 2018. Changes in body composition and muscle attenuation during taxane-based chemotherapy in patients with metastatic breast cancer. Breast cancer research and treatment, 168(1), pp.95-105.

Staats, S., Wagner, A.E., Kowalewski, B., Rieck, F.T., Soukup, S.T., Kulling, S.E. and Rimbach, G., 2018. Dietary resveratrol does not affect life span, body composition, stress response, and longevity-related gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(1), p.223.

Tournadre, A., Pereira, B., Dutheil, F., Giraud, C., Courteix, D., Sapin, V., Frayssac, T., Mathieu, S., Malochet‐Guinamand, S. and Soubrier, M., 2017. Changes in body composition and metabolic profile during interleukin 6 inhibition in rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of cachexia, sarcopenia and muscle, 8(4), pp.639-646.

Question 4:

There are many ways of assessing physical activities in population and individuals. In case of assessing the physical activities in general public the process that is used is self-reported questionaries, observation, accelerometry, sit and stand the test and double-libelled water test. On the other hand, in case of sporting and athletic people, there are specific ways to assess physical activities such as aerobic fitness test, lactate threshold, muscular strength and muscular power.

As mentioned by Doherty et al. (2017), self-repot and questionnaires are the most effective assessment tools of measuring physical activities in the general population, in which people asked some sets of question regarding their physical activities that they perform in their regular life. The questionnaires are about which types physical activities people do on regular wise, whether they follow any specific guidelines regarding performing the physical activities such as recommendation of physiotherapist and how must time they spend in these exercise or physical activities. Many researchers find this tool as an effective one to assess the physical activities in people, but there is also some criticism about the effectiveness of the process. In this context Song et al. (2017) mentioned that, although self-report and questionnaires collect the useful data about the physical activities, there is no proof that the data provided by the respondent are true and uninfluenced. On supporting this statement, many researchers have mentioned that, there are also question on the self-report, that whether there is bias or favour towards particular group of people while collecting the data of the physical activities which ca mislead the interpretation. On the contrary Dowd et al. (2018) argued that, although the questionaries can have the bias and error in the result, the self-report can be the trustworthy ways to assess the physical activity as the participants who show the self-recorded videos of their physical activities.

In this context Zhang et al. (2018) mentioned that observation is the most relevant and trustworthy way to assess the physical activities in people. Through observation it is possible to watch people performing their physical activities and collect the real-time data. As argued by Naska et al. (2017), sometimes observation is highly time-consuming and costly for the researchers as they have to use the electronic devices to measure physical activities while participants perform these activities. On the other hand, critics of this statement have mentioned that, although, the observation process is time-consuming, it is widely used in recent years to assess the physical activities as it provides the trustworthy and accurate measure and assessment of the physical activities.

The technologies that are used in assessing physical activities in people are Accelerometery and pedometers. The accelerometer is used in measuring the acceleration. Through using this device, the intensity and movement of physical activity are measured. In case of general people as well as in case of sports persons, this technique is equally useful to measure the intensity of physical activities. On the contrary, Zhang et al. (2018) argued that, although this device is useful in providing accurate data regarding the physical activities, there is some limitation of using this process such as the device is attached to the participants which sometimes can be burden to them to freely doing the activities and the device has noisy data that can interfere with the concentration of participants while doing physical activities.

Pedometer is used in measuring how many numbers of steps a participant takes while doing physical activities. As mentioned by Song et al. (2017), the device is highly useful as it is simple and easy to use, it is highly accessible and it is low cost. The device is highly used in measuring the vertical motion, running and walking. As argued by Moura et al. (2017), there are many limitations of this device such as this device is not appropriate in monitoring the leisure activities, upper body movement, movement of people with disabilities and modality of activities.

Heart rate monitors are considered as the physiological indicator that determines the energy expenditure and the physical activity in people. It is useful in providing the data ion intensity of physical exercise of participants to the researchers (Doherty et al. 2017). This process is also useful in case of assisting participants to determine the intensity of their workout with the help of others. On the contrary, there are many criticisms regarding the usefulness of the process, such as some researchers think that this process is not useful in determining the muscle strength of people (Zhang et al. 2018). On the other hand, some researchers with that this test are not appropriate for the people it heart disease.

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The muscular endurance test is the useful assessment too that measure the physical activities in people by conducting the sit up and sit-down test. Here the participants have to sit up ad sit down in the 43 cm chair. Through this process, the muscular strength and the fitness of arms and legs are determined. As argued by Zhang et al. (2018), this test has limitation such as people with backbone pain and pain in the spinal cord cannot be covered under this test. On the other hand, this test is not appropriate in determining the energy expenditure of the participants.

From the overall discussion, it can be stated that, there are many types of assessment tools in determining the physical activities of participants. There are also the usefulness and limitations of these tools. Therefore, it is important for the researchers to consider the limitations of these tools while using these tools to ensuring the tools are used in effective way to eliminate any changes on any error or flaunts.

Reference list:

Doherty, A., Jackson, D., Hammerla, N., Plötz, T., Olivier, P., Granat, M.H., White, T., Van Hees, V.T., Trenell, M.I., Owen, C.G. and Preece, S.J., 2017. Large scale population assessment of physical activity using wrist worn accelerometers: The UK Biobank Study. PloS one, 12(2), p.e0169649.

Dowd, K.P., Szeklicki, R., Minetto, M.A., Murphy, M.H., Polito, A., Ghigo, E., van der Ploeg, H., Ekelund, U., Maciaszek, J., Stemplewski, R. and Tomczak, M., 2018. A systematic literature review of reviews on techniques for physical activity measurement in adults: a DEDIPAC study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 15(1), p.15.

Moura, F., Cambra, P. and Gonçalves, A.B., 2017. Measuring walkability for distinct pedestrian groups with a participatory assessment method: A case study in Lisbon. Landscape and Urban Planning, 157, pp.282-296.

Naska, A., Lagiou, A. and Lagiou, P., 2017. Dietary assessment methods in epidemiological research: current state of the art and future prospects. F1000Research, 6.

Song, B., Zeng, G., Gong, J., Liang, J., Xu, P., Liu, Z., Zhang, Y., Zhang, C., Cheng, M., Liu, Y. and Ye, S., 2017. Evaluation methods for assessing effectiveness of in situ remediation of soil and sediment contaminated with organic pollutants and heavy metals. Environment international, 105, pp.43-55.

Zhang, Z., Hoek, G., Chang, L.Y., Chan, T.C., Guo, C., Chuang, Y.C., Chan, J., Lin, C., Jiang, W.K., Guo, Y. and Vermeulen, R., 2018. Particulate matter air pollution, physical activity and systemic inflammation in Taiwanese adults. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 221(1), pp.41-47.

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