Singapore Expats Forum

Are body fat measurements on scales accurate?

Discuss about beauty & health. Need some advice or looking for a particular product? Share your beauty and health tips here.

Gerard1
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri, 20 Jul 2018

Are body fat measurements on scales accurate?

Postby Gerard1 » Fri, 20 Jul 2018 4:09 pm

I read an article“Get In Shape With Body Fat Scale”I know that the technology used to measure body fat on scales relies on an electric current/pulse, but how accurate are they and does water/food in the stomach cause the scale to "pick it up" as fat since it's just an electric current?
Last edited by Gerard1 on Sat, 11 Aug 2018 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11375
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Re: Are body fat measurements on scales accurate?

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 20 Jul 2018 4:50 pm

According to Consumer Reports, they are not very accurate at all.

Rating a body-fat scale on its ability to gauge body fat was more complicated, and the results were unimpressive: None was very accurate. We know that because we got benchmark readings by using a measuring tool called a Bod Pod at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.

Six volunteers—three men and three women, some heavier, some slimmer—climbed into the Bod Pod. The egg-shaped device determines body fat by precisely recording the change in air pressure created when a body is sealed into a closed chamber. (Research shows that method is as accurate as the other gold standard—measuring how much water a body displaces when dunked into a tank full of water—but the Bod Pod measure is quicker and easier to perform.)

The scales we tested measure body fat using an electric current that travels through your body when you step barefoot onto the device’s metal footpads. That tiny current—much too low to feel or cause any harm—passes up one leg, through your pelvis, and down your other leg.

The resistance the current encounters as it travels depends on the proportion of fat and muscle tissue. Based on that, the scales use built-in formulas to estimate the percentage of your weight that comes from fat.

For some of our test subjects, the scales overstated their body fat; for others, the scales understated it. The body-fat scale that came closest to the Bod Pod results was still off by up to 21 percent; the worst performer was off by up to 34 percent. At least they were consistent, though, so you can use the scales that scored better at body-fat repeatability to track relative gains and losses over time.
How a device errs may depend in part on body shape. Because the electric current passes through only your legs, the scales might underestimate body fat if you have a big belly but slimmer legs and overestimate it if you carry more weight on your hips and thighs.

Results can also vary depending on whether your feet are wet or dry (they should be dry, according to the instructions), whether you recently exercised, and how much water you had to drink. And the devices don’t work well if you have an artificial hip or knee because the man-made materials can interfere with the electric current.

BBCDoc
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue, 05 Oct 2010
Location: Singapore

Re: Are body fat measurements on scales accurate?

Postby BBCDoc » Sun, 22 Jul 2018 3:33 pm

No, they are far from accurate. Fat distribution varies considerably. I would expect more robust integration of caliper measurements across limbs to help paint a better picture.

Much like BMI is still inappropriate to ignore heavier muscle mass vs fat. Doctor keeps telling me I am overweight on BMI, and her recommended target weight I have not seen since before University when I was 10% body fat during my bodybuilding days


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
There's always room for one more

wr000
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu, 19 Jul 2018

Re: Are body fat measurements on scales accurate?

Postby wr000 » Mon, 23 Jul 2018 11:19 am

wow

wr000
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu, 19 Jul 2018

Re: Are body fat measurements on scales accurate?

Postby wr000 » Mon, 23 Jul 2018 11:23 am

wow, i thought it actually very correct.

missyqiqi
Regular
Regular
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue, 18 Mar 2008
Location: Singapore

Re: Are body fat measurements on scales accurate?

Postby missyqiqi » Mon, 30 Jul 2018 1:15 pm

don't think accurate.
i only use digital weighing scale, good enough. no need fat measurement.

Evangline.s
Member
Member
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed, 13 Jun 2018

Re: Are body fat measurements on scales accurate?

Postby Evangline.s » Thu, 23 Aug 2018 5:02 pm

wow. i thought they are accurate. its able to show different % for different people though? some of the scales uses infra-red waves and should be correct?

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35572
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Re: Are body fat measurements on scales accurate?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 23 Aug 2018 5:11 pm

Wrong.

Pennykee
Member
Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue, 19 Jun 2018

Re: Are body fat measurements on scales accurate?

Postby Pennykee » Wed, 29 Aug 2018 10:47 am

I'm not very sure. But I think it's almost the accurate number. More or less should be around that scale cause sometimes I measure it twice and the numbers aren't the same.

Loiusebren
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon, 18 Jun 2018

Re: Are body fat measurements on scales accurate?

Postby Loiusebren » Fri, 31 Aug 2018 12:06 am

Have tried on this kind of weighing scale before for a period of time. Regardless of its accuracy, I guess it still kinda gives a good gauge on the different things that we are measuring for; (body fats, BMI, Calories intake etc)
At least we know where we are in terms of our weight and sub-measurements of our body fats. Perhaps not to be taken literally for what the numbers are showing, but more of having a basic understanding of where we are in our current stats.

DrScrumMaster
Regular
Regular
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat, 23 Jan 2016

Re: Are body fat measurements on scales accurate?

Postby DrScrumMaster » Fri, 31 Aug 2018 12:51 pm

What happened to the "Can you pinch more than an inch?" rubric?

Though pinching an inch might be a goal for those who can grab a handful...

WJKaien
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue, 11 Sep 2018

Re: Are body fat measurements on scales accurate?

Postby WJKaien » Wed, 12 Sep 2018 4:45 pm

I believe they are not since we also have muscle mass and water weight etcetc


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Beauty, Health & Fitness”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests