Artificial intelligence and body composition

Prasanna Santhanam, Tanmay Nath, Cheng Peng, Harrison Bai, Helen Zhang, Rexford S. Ahima, Rama Chellappa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Aims: Although obesity is associated with chronic disease, a large section of the population with high BMI does not have an increased risk of metabolic disease. Increased visceral adiposity and sarcopenia are also risk factors for metabolic disease in people with normal BMI. Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques can help assess and analyze body composition parameters for predicting cardiometabolic health. The purpose of the study was to systematically explore literature involving AI techniques for body composition assessment and observe general trends. Methods: We searched the following databases: Embase, Web of Science, and PubMed. There was a total of 354 search results. After removing duplicates, irrelevant studies, and reviews(a total of 303), 51 studies were included in the systematic review. Results: AI techniques have been studied for body composition analysis in the context of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cancer and many specialized diseases. Imaging techniques employed for AI methods include CT (Computerized Tomography), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), ultrasonography, plethysmography, and EKG(Electrocardiogram). Automatic segmentation of body composition by deep learning with convolutional networks has helped determine and quantify muscle mass. Limitations include heterogeneity of study populations, inherent bias in sampling, and lack of generalizability. Different bias mitigation strategies should be evaluated to address these problems and improve the applicability of AI to body composition analysis. Conclusions: AI assisted measurement of body composition might assist in improved cardiovascular risk stratification when applied in the appropriate clinical context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102732
JournalDiabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • AI and Body composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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