The only commercial Bod Pod in San Diego can be found in Del Mar. The Bod Pod, the most technologically advanced device for measuring body fat and lean mass, is one of the featured tools of Dr. Marian Holland’s new Cardiac Fitness and Weight Loss clinic off Carmel Valley Road.
As seen on TV shows such as “The Biggest Loser,” patients climb aboard the space age -looking Bod Pod in form-fitting clothing and a head cap for testing that is quick and accurate — the time spent inside is the length of two 50-second measurements and results are printed within minutes.
Bod Pod provides accuracy within 1-2 percent using air displacement plethysmology and is considered more accurate than underwater weighing or skin fold caliper testing.
“Body Mass Index alone is not the best measure for a lot of people,” Holland said. “It can be a little bit deceiving.”
Holland said that over time people can build or lose muscle and gain or lose fat; their weight may increase or stay the same and simply stepping on a scale doesn’t tell the whole story.
Holland said it’s more important to measure body composition than weight — body fat percentage can be one of the best indicators of health, giving people the whole picture of what’s going on in your body. Excess body fat increases the risk of diseases such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes, stroke and cancer, and it’s the excess that troubles Holland the most.
“More than one-third of Americans are overweight. It’s expected over 40 percent of Americans will be overweight by 2030. It just keeps going up and up,” Holland said.
With her clinic, the board-certified internist, cardiologist and electro physiologist aims to fight the obesity epidemic and help clients with weight loss and cardiac health.
Holland was a staff cardiology physician at the VA Hospital and it was her experience with one of the veterans that led her to shift her focus and open her new practice.
The veteran worked as a janitor on her floor and he could barely breathe as he walked because he was so heavy. In the first five weeks of working with him, Holland helped him change his diet and get down from 315 pounds to 281 pounds. Where he once drank six sodas and smoked three packs of cigarettes a day, he is now down to no sodas and just a half a pack a day.
“He’s my inspiration on weight loss,” Holland said, noting that while he has lost a total of 60 pounds and still has a ways to go, he is sleeping better, is happier, healthier and has found a support system he didn’t have before. “Some people just need a little help, a little attention.”
At her clinic, Holland does EKG exercise and cardiopulmonary stress testing to assess exercise tolerance, as well as echo cardiology using ultrasound imaging of the heart to assess cardiac size and function.
Holland is “big on fitness”— she ran cross-country during her undergraduate work at the University of Illinois and has competed in all the big marathons in the country, including New York City, Boston and Chicago.