A noninvasive method for assessing BODY COMPOSITION. It is based on the differential absorption of X-RAYS (or GAMMA RAYS) by different tissues such as bone, fat and other soft tissues. The source of (X-ray or gamma-ray) photon beam is generated either from radioisotopes such as GADOLINIUM 153, IODINE 125, or Americanium 241 which emit GAMMA RAYS in the appropriate range; or from an X-ray tube which produces X-RAYS in the desired range. It is primarily used for quantitating BONE MINERAL CONTENT, especially for the diagnosis of OSTEOPOROSIS, and also in measuring BONE MINERALIZATION.