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Body Fat Scale(9 posts)

Body Fat ScaleRyan Oliver
Dec 29, 2001 7:12 PM
I'm thinking of buying a Tanita body fat scale. What is the consensus on these things? Are they accurate or are they all over the map?

Thanks for the input.
They have their quirks, but I've learned to use mine.Humma Hah
Dec 29, 2001 7:59 PM
I've been using one for two years. They're finicky, but can work if you learn their quirks.

Weigh yourself in the evening, before your evening meal, well-hydrated but after a pee. Then you may find fairly repeatable results. In the mornings, they may read 3% higher BF. They're quite sensitive to hydration, and also will read way off if your muscles are sore. The readings jump like crazy for a few days after a century, reflecting water retention in the muscles.

They are quite sensitive to leg and gut muscle condition. Strengthening these areas may show a disproportionate improvement, but not severely so. Chest muscles may show up as fat.

I compared mine to a hydrostatic dunk test. For my build, the Tanita 612, on adult male non-athlete, shows 1% lower BF than the dunk test. Not bad! They can be off 5%.
Not so happy with mine...Lance's Neighbor
Dec 29, 2001 9:02 PM
but I use it every day. I agree with the post above that it can vary depending on hydration. I use it twice a day and use both measurements as a general guidline. The problem I have with it is that it requires you to enter in height, age, sex, and amount of weekly activity. If I change any of the information, such as making myself a sedentary 80 year old 4'10" female, or a 19 year old 6'5" male athlete the body fat measurement changes significantly. I've been able to get it to read between 4% and 55% body fat level. It seems to me that if you tell me your height, weight, age, sex and activity level (on a scale of 1 to 5) I can guess your body fat percentage within the 5% range of the Tanita scale. Having said that, I still use it even though I'm not sure about it's accuracy or even it's usefulness. Mine also has a daily calorie recomondation to maintain current weight and I like that feature best of all.
If you buy one of those scales, you are a fool.Bernie
Dec 30, 2001 3:50 AM
If you're serious about finding out your body fat percentage,(you can't guess), then look for a lab that does hydrostatic weighing, or go to someone who does anthropometric measurements (skin fold measurements). Those body fat scales are not accurate. If you're serious, go find an exercise physiology lab that does hydrostatic weighing. Someone familiar with those procedures could probably look at you and guess your body fat. But finally, look in the mirror. You're either fat or skinny.
Whos really the fool though?BigLeadOutGuy
Dec 30, 2001 8:10 AM
I just picked up one of those scales..i needed something to weigh myself and i figured I might as well get something that checked my BF as well...I think the BF is way sensitive to hydration. my BF reading from the skinfold method and the bioimpedance is like 5% differnt.

and what makes you think that finding a hydrostatic weighing set up is easy to find bernie? You make it sound like they are in every gym accross america....unfortnuatley they let me ask you the fool the guy who is interested in getting a scientific reading on his bodyweight to improve performance or is it the jackass looking at himself in the mirror guessing his bodyfat like you?

Have a foolish day
Here is a suggestion...Lon
Dec 30, 2001 9:04 AM
Jump up and down in front of a mirror and if anything is bouncing that should not be, you have some excess fat to lose. Next figure, your daily intake of calories and reduce by 5-10%. Substitute some of the carbo intake with protein and you will reduce the body fat, providing you continue with the same training regiment.
Whos really the fool though?Bernie
Dec 30, 2001 9:22 AM
Many Universities with exercise physiology labs are set up for hydrostatic weighing. Those scales you mention are not accepted by the AMA. They are not accurate. You are a fool if you bought one. Now go to GNC and buy some supplements. You need them.
very useful deviceesbike
Dec 30, 2001 11:23 PM
I have been using the Tanita scale for about 8 months and have found it very helpful. I find the measurements quite reproducible it I weigh myself the same time every day. I don't really care if my "real" body fat percentage is a few points higher or lower, the point of the device is to see if your weightloss/exercise program is lowering your body fat, and that the Tanita scale is very useful for. That's the big advantage the scale has over the dunking method; you can measure yourself as often as you like. I'm a member of the AMA and I don't really care if they endorse it or not. It has received many great reviews. I gave one to my Dad for christmas!
very useful deviceBernie
Dec 31, 2001 4:45 AM
Useful for those who would rather trust bad technology than a mirror.