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DEXA Fakes and Scams

Fraud and Deception in the DEXA Body Composition Scan Industry

Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DEXA (also abbreviated as DXA), is a state-of-the-art medical imaging technique that has gained significant popularity in recent years, particularly among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Although DEXA is primarily used for diagnosing osteoporosis, it has gained traction in the realm of body composition analysis due to its unparalleled accuracy and detailed insights. Unfortunately, the increasing demand for DEXA scans has also given rise to fraud and deception in the industry, with some gyms and facilities attempting to take advantage of unsuspecting clients. In this article, we will explore the unique benefits of DEXA scans, the deceptive practices used by some facilities, and how our business, Body Math, offers genuine DEXA scans under the supervision of a medical doctor, Dr. Mark J. Holland, MD.

DEXA: A Premier Body Composition Analysis Tool

DEXA is a medical imaging study that utilizes two different X-ray energies to accurately measure bone mineral density, lean mass, and fat mass. It provides detailed and reliable data on an individual's body composition, which is essential for athletes and fitness enthusiasts looking to optimize their training, nutrition, and recovery.

The unique benefits of DEXA scans for body composition analysis include:


DEXA is considered the gold standard for measuring body composition due to its high degree of accuracy and reproducibility. It can accurately assess even small changes in body composition, making it invaluable for tracking progress over time.

Limb Mass Measurement:

DEXA can provide a detailed breakdown of body composition for different body regions, such as arms, legs, and trunk. This information is crucial for identifying muscle imbalances, asymmetries, and areas that need improvement. Not only will DEXA generate super accurate limb mass measurements but it will tell you precisely how much of your limb mass is lean, how much is fat and how much is bone.

ALMI: Appendicular Lean Mass Index

DEXA is the only test that can provide precise limb lean mass measurements needed to generate an ALMI index score which is a very critical measure of one's likelihood of living a long and injury-free life. 

Bone mineral density assessment:

DEXA can simultaneously evaluate bone health and provide essential information on the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

Fraud and Deception in the DEXA Industry

Unfortunately, the increasing awareness of DEXA's unique benefits has led some gyms and other facilities to engage in deceptive practices. They often claim to offer DEXA scans, while in reality, they provide less accurate and less reliable alternatives, such as thermal imaging skin scans, bioelectric impedance analysis, or air plethysmography.

This deception is possible because DEXA scanners are expensive pieces of equipment that require radiology certification to operate. Consequently, very few gyms can afford to purchase and maintain a DEXA scanner, let alone have the necessary certification to use it.

Fake DEXA Scans

Beware of some of the following tricks used to fool people into thinking they are getting a DEXA scan when they are not:

'3-D' Scans

3D scans are not DEXA scans. They are usually external skin-scans of the body and they lack most of the amazing power of DEXA.

'Thermal' Scans

Thermal scans are NOT DEXA scans. They are skin scans using a FLIR camera which can be purchased for a few hundred dollars on Amazon. They are a gimmick.

Bioelectric Impedance Testing

Bioelectric Impedance testing is a way to asses body composition by passing an electric current through the human body but it is fraught with errors, biases and inconsistencies. While these tests may be better than nothing, they are a far cry from DEXA

Structured Light Scans

These are skin-scans that use a computer to create a 3D image of the human body. While these can be useful, they are not DEXA and lack most of the power of DEXA scanning.

Body Math: Offering Genuine DEXA Scans

At Body Math, we understand the value of accurate and reliable body composition analysis. That's why we offer genuine DEXA scans, supervised by our medical director, Dr. Mark J. Holland, MD. By choosing Body Math for your DEXA scans, you can expect:

Authentic DEXA scans:

We use state-of-the-art DEXA scanners to provide you with the most accurate and detailed body composition data available.

Medical supervision:

All our DEXA scans are conducted under the supervision of Dr. Mark J. Holland, MD, ensuring the highest level of safety and professionalism.

Personalized insights:

Our experienced team can help you understand your DEXA scan results and provide tailored recommendations to help you reach your fitness goals.


When it comes to body composition analysis, nothing beats the accuracy and detail provided by DEXA scans. However, as the demand for these scans has grown, so has the prevalence of fraud and deception in the industry. It's essential to remain skeptical and vigilant when seeking DEXA scans and only trust reputable facilities like Body Math, which are committed to providing genuine DEXA scans under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.

To protect yourself from deceptive practices, consider the following tips when searching for a DEXA scan provider:

Research the facility:

Verify that the facility offering DEXA scans has the necessary equipment and radiology certification. Read reviews and testimonials from previous clients to ensure they have a good reputation.

Ask for credentials

Request information on the qualifications and certifications of the personnel operating the DEXA scanner. A reputable provider will be transparent about their staff's expertise.

Inquire about the equipment

Genuine DEXA scanners are expensive and require specialized maintenance. Be wary of facilities that offer DEXA scans at significantly lower prices than the industry average, as they may be using inferior equipment or alternative methods.

Seek referrals

Consult with trusted professionals in the fitness and medical communities for recommendations on reputable DEXA scan providers.

Educate yourself

Familiarize yourself with the characteristics of DEXA scans and the differences between DEXA and other body composition analysis methods. This knowledge will help you identify fraudulent claims and misleading advertising.

At Body Math, our top priority is providing clients with accurate, reliable, and professionally supervised DEXA scans. By choosing us for your body composition analysis, you can trust that you're receiving the highest level of service and expertise.

In conclusion, DEXA scans are a valuable tool for athletes and fitness enthusiasts looking to optimize their performance and health. As demand for DEXA scans grows, it's crucial to remain vigilant and skeptical of deceptive practices in the industry. By doing your due diligence and trusting reputable facilities like Body Math, you can ensure that you're receiving the most accurate and detailed body composition analysis available.

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