Do Body Fat Scales Work
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    Find Out All You Need To Know About Body Fat Scales

    16 Sep 2019
    Find Out All You Need To Know About Body Fat Scales

    Do you ever ask yourself, “how do smart scales work?” Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I know my body fat percentage?” This subdivision of measurement is currently trending across the nutritionists’ world today. It follows the popular opinion that obesity predisposes one to the risk of certain lifestyle diseases. These lifestyle diseases include diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, stroke, and some forms of cancers. People have done the extra mile and adopted ways that help them keenly monitor their weight effectively every day.

    How Do The Body Fat Scales Work?

    Measurement of body fat scales requires an advanced scientific approach than all other forms of anthropometry. So, the question comes, does a scale measure mass or weight? The typical scales that most people are accustomed to measure only weight. If you’re in luck, you could come across one with a BMI calculator. People often confuse the measurement of BMI vs. body fat measurement. A significant discrepancy exists between the two, although they are two sides of the same coin.

    How do The Body Fat Scales work

    So how do body fat scales work?

    People have always wondered how body fat measuring device works. Well, it works the same way as a weighing scale. Aside from that, the gauge produces a high bioelectrical current that penetrates your sole.

    The device has sensors for the electric wave, which detect the resistance encountered as a result of your body tissues.

    We understand that one of the best conductors of electric current is water. People are biologically made of 60% water, which makes our bodies good conductors of electricity. In obese people, there is a lot of resistance offered by the tissues. Calculations based on the resistance will almost accurately determine the proportion of fatty tissue in an individual. And that is the mechanism that has been used in this form of anthropometry.

    How Accurate Are The Body Fat Scales?

    After all these years, no scale accuracy is yet to hit 100%, especially when it comes to handheld devices. What they give us is an estimate. Their results are quite close to the actual value, although they are substantially affected by:

    Are scales that measure body fat accurate
    1. Age

    2. Gender

    3. Pregnant mothers

    4. Site of fatty tissue deposition

    5. Height and physical stature

    For instance, if you have some medical conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome or if you are on a top appetite suppressant, fatty tissue is usually redistributed. Therefore, an assessment that focuses on giving a result from the fatty tissue content of the legs is unlikely to provide an ideal picture of your fatty tissue proportion.

    What Are The Strengths and Limitations of Body Fat Scales?

    Other ways to measure body fat

    The method we have discussed is called Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). Its most outstanding attribute is portability, so it is convenient to use body fat scales while enjoying the coziness of your bathroom at home. However, this method has quite several limitations; the obvious one is that it cannot point out the actual storage site.

    In some cases, a person needs additional methods of testing, such as using body fat caliper measurement to determine which region is the most heaped with fat stores. Obese people should be tested by different methods, including absorptiometry.

    How Else Do People Measure Body Fat?

    Different measurement scales work in totally different ways, with the best way to measure body fat being relative to the person using these scales. Some of the means that can be used to help determine your body fat percentage include:

    What are the pros and cons of body fat scales
    1. Skin Calipers – This method is regarded as probably the oldest body fat percentage scale developed. From the name, we can tell that its role is to estimate the breadth of folded skin to determine the amount of the fatty tissue underlying your skin. They are economical devices, locally available, and do not require particular skills to use them. If you wondered how to measure body fat at home, this is your method.

    2. Body Circumference Measures – This particular measurement requires the use of only a tape. The circumference of a few cylindrical regions is measured using a tape to determine the proportion of fatty tissue. If you wonder how to measure body fat at home accurately, we recommend this method.

    3. Hydrostatic Weighing – Also scientifically referred to as hydrodensitometry. It involves giving you an estimate of fatty tissue proportion based on your density. Using this method, you are required to exhale maximally, and then your weight is measured underwater. Then it has to be measured when you are out of the water, the amount of air in your lungs after you exhale maximally is also determined. Calculations are based on these equations to estimate body fat scale accuracy and content.

    4. Plethysmography – This is one of the most accurate methods of measuring body fat. It employs the application of an analogous technique to the preceding method, but you are submerged in air. You are put in an egg-like chamber, and the volume of air in the chamber changed while your weight is being serially recorded. Although it is quite expensive, it has proven to be the most accurate body fat scale.

    5. Bioimpedance Spectroscopy – A method that is functionally and practically very close to BIA, they have minimal distinctions. Bioimpedance Spectroscopy uses an increased surge of electric current and varied frequencies. It is probably the best way to measure the amount of fatty tissue.

    There are several other ways. However, the ones we have listed are believed to be the most outstanding if you want to check body fat.


    Measurement of fatty tissue content has become a key component of anthropometry in the present-day world. It is an excellent health assessment tool for clinics and even personally if you are a treadmill fellow. Many people have been wondering, how do body fat scales work? What is a good body fat percentage? How do scales calculate body fat? What is the most accurate way to measure body fat? Well, we have explained how such scales work.

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