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Technology in the Hull Body Composition Laboratory

The body composition lab has access to many methods for measuring body composition. This multi-component model improves the validity of the research and provides hands-on learning activities for all students in the dietetics and nutrition academic programs.

The BodPod and PeaPod, Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) Scan, and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis are just a few of the methods Hull’s lab team use for measuring body composition.

BodPod and PeaPod
photo of person in a BodPod

The BodPod uses air-displacement plethysmgraph (ADP) to determine one’s fat mass and lean mass. This test is accurate, safe, fast, and appropriate for most populations (adults, children, athletes, obese, elderly, disabled). This test is good for tracking changes in body composition over time.

image of the pea pod

The PeaPod is a version of the BodPod designed for infants from birth to 6 months of age. The test takes about two minutes to complete and is the safest and accurate method of measuring body composition in infants.

Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA)

image of DXA equipment with child

The DXA scan uses x-ray technology to determine one’s body composition. This test takes about five to eight minutes to complete. The dose of radiation is minimal, so this test is not known to be harmful to infants, children, or adults.

DXA can also be used to measure bone density. This method is also designed to track changes in body composition over time.

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA)

image of BIA equipmentBIA technology measures body composition by passing a low electrical signal through the feet to the legs and abdomen. The current passes quickly through muscle but meets resistance when passing through fat tissue.

The BIA analyzes the resistance, or impedance, of the current when it hits fat tissue and uses standardized equations to calculate body composition.

Interested in Participating in a Research Project?

This lab is not currently enrolling any studies to outside participants. However, women 12-20 weeks pregnant may be interested in the Assessment of DHA on Reducing Early Preterm Birth (ADORE) trial.

Participants are eligible to have their children participate in the ADORE GAINS study, a follow-up to ADORE investigating the effect of prenatal DHA supplementation on a baby’s body composition.

Holly Hull portrait

Lab Director

Holly Hull, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
faculty bio

Research Collaborations

School of Health Professions

Dietetics and Nutrition
KU Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 4013
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-5355 • 711 TTY