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Body fat monitors - any good?(3 posts)

Body fat monitors - any good?GileyD
Oct 3, 2003 3:28 AM
I have seen a body fat monitor advertised for GBP 13.00 (about US$ 21).

It is a small hand held unit that works by putting your thumbs on two pressure pads, which then (supposedly) gives you a digital readout of your body fat percantage. I cannot see from the picture what make it is.

Has anybody tried these devices? Are they worth getting or too inaccurate to be worth the money.

(I don't race and am certainly not overweight so knowing my body fat % is not a big deal, but at that price I thought it could be interesting - if the device is any good).
Good....with limits:-)Zman
Oct 3, 2003 5:04 AM
There is great debate as to the accuracy of any of these machines and for there purpose.

Regardless of pin point accuracy they provide the information most people need, they provide trend data.

Lets say that your reading at 9:00 pm is 15%, that value may or may not be accurate, but when you take your next reading at 9:00 pm the following night and it says 14.9% (assuming typical situations) you have a legitimate result.

Don't get hung up on the value but look at where you stand in day to day comparisons, are you getting more fat or leaner, the product will give that data if it is at all good.

Not goodMr Nick
Oct 3, 2003 3:53 PM
The method that these machines use to determine percent body fat is electrical current. The speed that the current travels through the body determines the amount of fat compared to muscle because muscle has less resistance than fat. The problem is that hydration plays a huge factor in these mesurements. Since it is pretty difficult to determine hydration level at any moment, the data you get is useless. (that's why we don't use them in the lab) You can't even use them for trend data like the other individual was discussing. Trend data is good for scales because you know the scale is actually measuring weight, you just don't know how accurately. But you don't know that the body fat monitor is actually measuring body fat or just responding to hydration.