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Body Fat Monitor Scales: do they work?

Old 05-17-05, 10:35 PM
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Body Fat Monitor Scales: do they work?

I decided to buy one of those things yesterday, but kept the receipt. The thing was $40 at Target.


Health-O-Meter Professional Body Fat Monitor Scale




There was one review on the site:

This scale seems to give an accurate weight, but the bodyfat measurements are off by about 10-12% (on the high side) especially if you have an athletic build. If you want a more accurate bodyfat estimate, you should try a different (and probably more expensive) scale.



I tried it out and it said 26.2 percent body fat at 210 pounds and 6'3" tall. Fourteen hours later I'd lost 2.8 pounds and my body fat went to 28.8 percent.


Anyone used these things?
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Old 05-17-05, 11:38 PM
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I think it might have a lot to do with hydration levels. Variances will affect the electrical impedance and throw off your body fat numbers slightly. I counter this by doing my weigh-in under the same conditions each time. This would be right after waking up and taking care of my evacuation business. I have found my readings to be very consistent under these circumstances.

EDIT: I have this model by Tanita. Paid about $65 online.

Last edited by cliffzig; 05-17-05 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 05-17-05, 11:54 PM
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After my post I came across a review that said the time of day, hydration, etc. was important for consistency.

There's a Tanita that I'm considering.

Tanita BF680W Body Fat Scale. Latest Model with Body Water %

$55 at Amazon


It's the new version of the 680 and was just released.


I've seen reviews that some are good for sloths while other models are better for active people. Anyone know why?
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Old 05-18-05, 12:18 AM
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i'm a skin fold caliper man myself.
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Old 05-18-05, 12:37 AM
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I have a skin fold caliper but I haven't seen it in three years.
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Old 05-18-05, 03:01 AM
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.....the 700+lb sheriff was suprised this morning when he found his old skin fold caliper, in one of his mountainous skin folds!........
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Old 05-18-05, 07:26 AM
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I have a different model from target. It is junk. It doesn't weigh accurately and it says I am 20% fat which doesn't seem right either. I'd say I'm borderline-athletic build.

It's a Taylor.
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Old 05-18-05, 09:25 AM
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Old 05-18-05, 10:28 AM
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Nice!

Do me a favor and get your readings, then eat a serving of french fries and check again. Then eat a serving of onion rings and check again. Let us know what the results are here.
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Old 05-18-05, 10:43 AM
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Old 05-18-05, 11:02 AM
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Thanks for the motivation Thor!
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Old 05-18-05, 11:51 AM
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Im not sure how this could measure body fat accurately...Do you just step on it or is there something else involved?
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Old 05-18-05, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by FantasticVSDoom
Im not sure how this could measure body fat accurately...Do you just step on it or is there something else involved?
http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showpos...19&postcount=2

How Body Fat Scales Work And Why It's Important Body fat scales use a technique called Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis... or BIA for short. Very simply...
A small and completely harmless electrical current is passed through your body. The electrical current passes more quickly through fat free tissue like muscle than it does through fat or bone tissue. So...

The amount of resistance to the electrical current relates to how much fat-free mass a person has and their body density. Here's the first challenge...

Like all body fat tests, body fat scales don't actually measure your body fat percentage. They determine your body density. The examiner (or the scales) then uses a formula to calculate body fat percentage based on body density. Here's the key...

These formulas just predict your body fat. Unfortunately there is no one formula that accurately predicts body fat for the whole population. Differences in age, gender, ethnicity, body size, and fitness level all have a significant affect on the results.

Most body fat scales can account for some of the basic differences such as age and gender, but take the actual body fat percentage they give you with a pinch of salt. What does this all mean for you?

Well, whether body fat scales measure your "true" body fat percentage or not doesn't matter! As long as they can accurately monitor changes in your body composition over time, that's all you need.

Your body position, the amount of water in your body, your food intake, skin temperature and recent physical activity can all adversely affect the results of body fat scales. So...

To achieve accurate, consistent results, you must standardise the way you perform each test. That simply means making each test with your body fat scales as similar as possible. The great thing about body fat scales is...

Standardising each test is easy to do.

Are body fat scales any better than plain old weighing scales?

Absolutely!
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Old 05-18-05, 04:29 PM
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I take measurements in the morning like cliffzig does. That helps with consistency.

This morning's reading: 6'3" 172lbs 9%
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Old 05-18-05, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by BigDave
I take measurements in the morning like cliffzig does. That helps with consistency.

This morning's reading: 6'3" 172lbs 9%
Well goddamn BigDave, my scale doesn't measure MY height!
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Old 05-18-05, 06:20 PM
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Well BigDave has a better scale than you do.

I think I'm going to get a Tanita and take the Health-O-Meter one back.
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Old 05-18-05, 06:24 PM
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I bought a scale with this feature like a year ago & I hated it. First of all, it said I was obese, which is nowhere near being true. So I return it. Later I read somewhere that you need to stand on the scale without your thighs touching to get an accurate reading. So I never could have gotten an accurate reading, because that's how I'm built, my thighs touch.
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Old 05-18-05, 06:29 PM
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Hmmmm.
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Old 05-19-05, 06:28 AM
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I have a Tanita one where you can input your height and activity: normal/athlete.

The body fat scale just sends an electrical pulse through you body from one foot to the other. Maybe the thighs touching causes it to jump over too soon. After that, it's just an equation for each activity type to figure your body fat.

It may not measure your exact percentage, but it will give you trends of where it's going. Preferably down.
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Old 05-19-05, 06:39 AM
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No they're not very accurate, use the mirror and skin fold callipers to track progress (or the lack thereof...)
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Old 05-19-05, 07:42 AM
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I went from 20% fat to 18% fat after a 20minute run. Those fat cells really come off.
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Old 05-19-05, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Emma311
I bought a scale with this feature like a year ago & I hated it. First of all, it said I was obese, which is nowhere near being true. So I return it. Later I read somewhere that you need to stand on the scale without your thighs touching to get an accurate reading. So I never could have gotten an accurate reading, because that's how I'm built, my thighs touch.
Thighs touching shouldn't matter. Your skin is very resistive compared to your guts. Just to test it, I had my thighs touching and then not on my scale and both readings were the same.
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Old 05-19-05, 10:36 AM
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But is that how you're built? That might make a difference.






:buford:
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Old 05-19-05, 10:44 AM
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I try to weigh myself at the same time on the same day (if possible) once a week. I don't trust the body fat measure as accurate as to what the percent actually is, but it can be a good measure to watch each week to show you the drop. So I don't necessarily agree with the number, but I do think the movement up or down can be accurate.
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Old 05-19-05, 11:15 AM
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I've seen a show did a study where they compared the body fat scales. They came to the conclusion that it can be a decent judge on how you're doing, but the most accurate way is to do the water immersion test.
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