A University Restricts Use of DXA

April 21, 2022 by FitTrace


At the end of 2021 an NCAA Division I school implemented new rules and restrictions for the use of DXA in athletics. There were issues regarding access to athletes’ body composition data and how DXA data was being interpreted. FitTrace, an app for DXA based body composition, was designed to address many of the issues encountered at the school.

Here is an article that fully explains the situation.


How FitTrace Helps

Access To DXA Data

University of Oregon limited access to dietitians and medical staff. FitTrace can limit access to DXA data as instituted by the university. In fact, FitTrace is very flexible, allowing for several options:

  • Sports dietitians and medical staff have access to athletes’ DXA measurements.
    • They may limit or restrict athletes from accessing and sharing data
  • The athlete is provided access to their DXA scans. The athlete may share their scans with appropriate athletic staff.
    • Athletes are the only ones who can access their measurements and choose to share with specific staff for review and interpretation.
  • Sports dietitians and medical staff have access to athletes’ scans and may provide access to athletes on a case by case basis. Many dietitians prefer to provide access to DXA data only after reviewing the data with the athlete.
    • Athletes only gain access to their scans after appropriate staff has reviewed and commented in the report or can meet with the athlete to discuss results.

Understanding DXA Data

University of Oregon also suggested that athletes receive education about DXA as it relates to performance.

  • Helping users, such as athletes, understand DXA data is the driving motivation behind FitTrace. FitTrace presents DXA data in ways that are easy to understand in terms of athletic performance and health.
  • Custom reports may be created that focus only on certain body composition values, such as arm and leg lean mass vs. showing all 100+ variables at once, which can be confusing and lead to misinterpretations by both the athletic staff and the athlete.
  • With FitTrace, dieticians and medical staff can attach notes to a scan. The intention of notes is to educate athletes about their body composition measurements.

This video demonstrates how the Notes feature works.


Focus on Fat

In the case of the University of Oregon, there was a focus on the amount of fat athletes had. Many trained dietitians instead prefer to focus on positive aspects of body composition, such as lean mass, in order to help athletes better understand their body and how they can modify their diet and training to improve their overall athletic performance and health.

  • With FitTrace, custom reports may be created that highlight positive aspects of body composition. For example, a report may highlight total mass and lean mass.

Limiting Coaches Access

University of Oregon prohibits access to individual athlete’s DXA data by coaches.

FitTrace is very flexible and provides for a variety of options.

  • Data sharing is at the discretion of the dietitian and/or the athlete.
    • The team decides who is in control of the data
  • Aggregate reports, called Team Reports, may be shared with coaches.
    • Deidentified and combined data allows for coaches to see progress, attitude, work-ethic, etc. of teams and positions as a whole rather than focusing on individual athletes.

Team reports consist of an analysis of a set of players and do not reveal the identity of individual athletes. For example, a report may be created that shows upper body lean by player position on a football team. Or, a report may compare athletes by class (senior, junior, etc).

Team Reports is a powerful analysis tool. Any ad-hoc criteria can be used to analyze DXA data, This video demonstrates how Team Reports work:



FitTrace supports common sense use cases that are appropriate in team settings. It was designed with the goals of helping users understand DXA data while simultaneously addressing privacy and access issues.