BMI measuring scales?

Discussion in 'Weight Loss Forum' started by RedEarth, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. RedEarth

    RedEarth Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2005
    I have a friend with a scale that measures BMI. It does something like send an electric current through the body and that's supposed to measure your water percentage or something (I could be way off). She researches and buys the best of everything, so I'm sure it's top of the line, but does anyone know if these things work or not?
  2. aedman

    aedman New Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    I think you're referring to body fat percentage, not BMI (body mass index). Body mass index can be done with just a little chart for height and weight inputs, but I wouldn't use it as a method because it can be notoriously off-base. For instance, there was a guy on my high school football team who was an avid weightlifter and runner, he was a six-pack abs type guy but very short. Because of all the muscle weight and his height, the BMI chart indicated he was obese, which couldn't have been farther from the truth.

    On body fat scales:
    I had always wondered about the technology too, so I did a little looking around. Apparently they are somewhat accurate, but bodyfat % analysis is always going to be a +/- approximated game. If you are not trying to get to a very low and specific bodyfat for something like a bodybuilding competition or somesuch they work well enough to give you an indication of where you are at and where you are going. Some tips I found:

    1. test at the same time everyday
    2. Make sure your batteries are good
    3. track the results and throw out the very highs and very lows, it will give you a closer to reality average
    4. Settings might need to be changed- different people such as athletes need different settings to compensate for bone density, etc.

    Also be aware that it is correct to about 6-7% +/-, some of the better models are 2-3% +/-, and that it can give opposing readings day to day- hence the keeping a record and kind of mapping out the data. Hope that helps.