Are Weight Scales accurate at checking Body Fat %???

  1. Are Weight Scales accurate at checking Body Fat %???


    Just curious, I have a pretty nice weight scale that I use which is digital. It has an option where it checks your body fat % and water %. Are these machines accurate? I figured at the very least I could get a base number and monitor my BF% gains from that point on. Any thoughts on this? As always thanks in advance.


  2. Some are and some aren't. Water in your system, stimulents etc can have an effect on the reading.

  3. thanks for tip
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  4. They are not "accurate" but good ones can be "precise".

    What I mean is, the accuracy is low becauase of how the BF% is calculated. The scales that measure impedance (step on two metal pads, or hold two metal pads) use the measurement and compare to the weight measurement and height and use a look-up table based on data gained from untrained individuals. Large tables using people of various heights and various weights were compiled and the BF% using calipers were input. These table are refered to in your scale. These scales cannot tell the difference between heavy fat people and heavy muscular people. The more "normal" your muscle and fat ratio, the more accurate the BF% reading.

    The precision is the ability of the scale to get the same answer repeatedly. Redo the measurement three time in a row each morning for a week. If you consistently get the same answer it is precise.

    The best (cheapest and easiest) solution is to buy a caliper set and measure your skin folds (or have someone else measure them. Then use an online calculator to determine your BF% (This is a good one

    Body Tracker - Online Body Fat Percentage Calculator ) .

    You can then compare the results.

    I'm 45 years old and my Tabita scale gives me 32% and a seven-point caliper measurement gives me 23% at 235#.

  5. I was told that the calipers require some skill and experience to get accurate results so I bought a handheld electro BF meter. According to the users manual your body fat measurement is going to fluctuate all day long due to changes in hydration and electrical conductivity. It tells you to wait 2hrs past eating drinking or showering.
    Following those guidelines my BF% fluctuates less than .5% (14-15% 185lb) from one day to the next. Thankfully it is usually going down.

  6. Get a omron body fat analyzer model hbf-306

  7. Ha!

    I think it's person dependent.... Bodytype dependent.... whatever.... bottom line... when my wife gets on my Tanita bodyfat scale... yes, it's precise. Pretty accurate too, from the other bodyfat measurements she's done. The calipers and other impedance mesurements track her like within 1.5 percent.

    Me.... when I get on the darn thing... it's like +/- 5%... or worse... useless! My lean mass is around 200 pounds. My wife's lean mass is 85 pounds.

    What's the deal.... the bigger you are, the more problems you have with impedance measurements?

    This begs the question... what's the king of bodyfat measurements? The guys at the gym tell me there are just SOOOO many assumptions in the models... lung volume is a factor... in some cases. For impedance... some measure through the arms.... some measure through the legs.... if your body type deviates from the model used for the device's calibration.... obviously, you're body fat measurent will be off too.

    My answer is..... maybe... it depends on the person.... for my wife.. yes, bodyfat scales seem to work, but for me... forget it!

    -TT

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Poser
    They are not "accurate" but good ones can be "precise".

    What I mean is, the accuracy is low becauase of how the BF% is calculated. The scales that measure impedance (step on two metal pads, or hold two metal pads) use the measurement and compare to the weight measurement and height and use a look-up table based on data gained from untrained individuals. Large tables using people of various heights and various weights were compiled and the BF% using calipers were input. These table are refered to in your scale. These scales cannot tell the difference between heavy fat people and heavy muscular people. The more "normal" your muscle and fat ratio, the more accurate the BF% reading.

    The precision is the ability of the scale to get the same answer repeatedly. Redo the measurement three time in a row each morning for a week. If you consistently get the same answer it is precise.

    The best (cheapest and easiest) solution is to buy a caliper set and measure your skin folds (or have someone else measure them. Then use an online calculator to determine your BF% (This is a good one

    Body Tracker - Online Body Fat Percentage Calculator ) .

    You can then compare the results.

    I'm 45 years old and my Tabita scale gives me 32% and a seven-point caliper measurement gives me 23% at 235#.

  8. I think they are person dependent as well, I had underwater and calipers put me around 7-7.5 and then a month later the scale said I was 20%...that being said i now longer trust the scales.
  

  
 

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