title iconThe Kardashians shared their full body scan results, but what exactly does this mean

Kim Kardashian often shares glimpses of her health and wellness pursuits with her followers on social media. Recently, the reality TV star and entrepreneur shared her most intimate photo yet: a full body scan.

Kardashian shared her experience getting a full body scan from BodySpec on her Instagram Stories on Wednesday. Her Instagram posts showed an X-ray image of her body along with percentages and numbers. Her initial posts showed off her bone density score and body fat percentage, claiming she fell into the "athlete category."

Interested in the purpose of a full body scan and what Kardashian's results mean? You can find out more about the health care tool by reading on. Alyssa Olenick, Ph.D., C.I.S.S.N., C.F.L.1, an exercise physiologist, explains Kardashian got a DEXA scan. You can find out your muscle, bone, and fat mass with this low-dose X-ray. An X-ray shows where your fat and muscle are distributed and how much. It also shows your bone density, which is important as you age. Mayo Clinic says bone density measures how flexible and strong bones are. Osteoporosis, for instance, causes bone loss, which makes bones weaker and more prone to fracture.

Body composition includes muscle, bone, and fat in your body. Olenick emphasizes that body composition is simply the ratio between fat and nonfat mass (muscle and bone). In other words, 'higher body fat' might reflect 'too little muscle' rather than 'too much fat'.

In contrast to the body mass index (BMI), the results of a full body scan are not affected by societal or racial bias. An analysis of the height and weight ratios of white European men suggests ideal health measurements. According to Olenick, DEXA scans are calculated by comparing average values from a large national database of people of the same age and gender.

Furthermore, BMI is not an accurate measure of health, since it is based solely on height and weight and does not account for bone density, muscle mass, or fat mass. In a body composition scan, muscular athletes may appear lean even with overweight BMIs. She explains that someone could have a healthy BMI but need to build more muscle." A body composition scan "is a more honest and better look at your body."

By getting a full body scan, you can learn important information about your bone density. Women and transgender individuals should get DEXA body scans if they can afford them, says Olenick. Menopause can decrease bone density because women's estrogen levels drop when they go through menopause. Olenick explains that women have a higher risk of bone disease than men because of this. "Understanding your bone density is especially important as you age or if you become more susceptible to osteoporosis after menopause," she says.

Having this type of scan also helps determine how much muscle tissue people have, which is a good indicator of health. Muscle mass prevents muscle loss and frailty as you age. In addition, it helps improve your quality of life, regulate glucose, and prevent insulin resistance, says Olenick. Maintaining strength as you age: Jane FondaDEXA body scans reveal a fat mass in addition to fat-free mass (bone, connective tissue, organ tissue, and muscle tissue). The fat mass of your body is where your body stores fat cells or other stored fat. While fat mass is one component of your overall health, you shouldn't fixate on the numbers. Olenick says people are all built differently, and the way a certain body fat percentage looks on someone may not look the same on someone else.

Those who have experienced a period of "extreme under-eating or dieting" may benefit particularly from DEXA scans, says Olenick. These situations put a person at higher risk of bone fractures.

As a result of her scan, Kardashian's bones are stronger than 93 to 97 percent of people compared to the average values of people of your same age and gender from a large national database," says Olenick, who confirms Kardashian seems to have a healthy bone density. "I'm happy to see that Kim has and is promoting a healthy bone density in women," says Olenick. "Having a higher bone density can help prevent stress fractures or major fractures as you age or help with bone loss that comes with menopause or aging or with restrictive diets," she continues.

The Skims founder also shared that she has 18 percent body fat (down from 25 percent last year), putting her in the "athlete category," according to her Instagram Story. "Eighteen percent body fat is fairly lean for a female, but it's also important to note her previous body fat of 25 percent was also perfectly healthy and also considered 'athletic' depending on who you ask," says Olenick. "Typically athletes are leaner or have more muscle tissue than people who are less active, depending on the type of sport they engage in, but this isn't always true," she adds. "People can have a higher body fat percent than Kim or this category and be athletic or an athlete."

While a full body scan can tell you helpful information about your health, isn't helpful to compare your results to others, including celebrities is a measure of how strong your bones are compared to those of people of the same age and gender group, says OlenickSo, if you have access to a full body scan, it might be able to tell you useful information about your body composition. The score is compared to the average of people your age and gender across a national database, says Olenickr who can offer personalized advice.