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Old 05-09-2006, 10:30 AM   #1
Patrick Datoc
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Are there any thoughts on the reliability of measurements of body fat% provided by Tanita scales? I just purchased one of their scales and found myself to be much leaner than I would ever have predicted.
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:06 AM   #2
Paul Symes
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Maybe you are leaner than you thought you were but...

If they were accurate why do you need to tell them

<> What sex you are.
<> What age you are.
<> How tall you are.
<> How much you weigh.
<> Whether you're athletic or not.

And why if you keep your socks on does the reading not change or if you hold a dumbell in your hand does it think it's fat?

So no I think they're an electric version of the BMI.
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:49 AM   #3
Erik Reckdenwald
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I have one and just use it for a relative measurement every few days. Has anyone compared a reading from an electric scale to a caliper test or something else that's accurate?
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:24 PM   #4
Garrett Smith
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The only time I use a Tanita is to get a laugh out of how inaccurate and inconsistent they are.

I've seen a BIA machine crush my wife's self esteem by overestimating her BF by ~13%!!! I had to take her to my body composition professor (published in the field, Scott Going) to have him do calipers on her to even begin the mental repair process! What a nightmare that caused.

Seriously, it's one thing to try and answer the perennial "Does this make me look fat?" question, it's quite another to have a machine tell your wife (an ex-gymnast and ex-professional dancer) she's *obese* and then have to fix the damage!

If I hadn't made it clear yet, I think they are junk.
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:57 PM   #5
Nicholas Burgett
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I've always assumed that they were not very accurate. Given that, what do others recommend as a "reasonably accurate" way to check BF%? Since I started doing CF, I've been using the method outlined in the back of the Zone book. For men it basically consists of measuring your abdominal circumference at the navel, and then substracting the circumference of your wrist on your dominant hand. You take that number and cross reference it with your weight in a table in the back of the book.

Any thoughts as to the accuracy of this method, or suggestions as to others that can be done at home with relative ease?
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Old 05-09-2006, 01:39 PM   #6
Garrett Smith
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I got the AccuTrack digital calipers and the MyoTape from www.bodybuilding.com .

The digital calipers gives you the measurements straight up (so you can use any equation you want) or it will do a three-site calculation for you.

The MyoTape measures circumferences, like in the Zone book. It also pre-tensions the tape, so one can get more consistent measurements.

Last time on me, the calipers read 5.3% and the tape/table method said 8%. I took away that I was about 6%.

Worked for me, it's what I do with my patients.
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Old 05-09-2006, 03:39 PM   #7
Patrick Datoc
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Thanks for all of your input. Back to reality I guess.
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Old 05-09-2006, 09:17 PM   #8
Larry Lindenman
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Stand in front of a mirror, that's about as accurate as you need...I'm serious about this.

(Message edited by kali on May 09, 2006)
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Old 05-10-2006, 01:14 AM   #9
Chris Forbis
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I'm with Larry. Jump up and down some too.
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Old 05-10-2006, 08:39 PM   #10
Brooke Simmons
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I have a Tanita scale that I bought way back when.

If I always measure %BF on the scale in the morning, having made sure to hydrate properly the night before, could it approach the consistency of a weight measurement? I tend to weigh myself daily and take running averages (I'm a scientist), and it's really the change in body fat that I'm concerned with, not the actual number (not yet).

From reading the other topics about measuring %BF, it seems like there's no great solution to the consistency problem. So why is a Tanita any worse than calipers? Or, for that matter, my mirror?

Speaking only for myself, my perception of my image in the mirror has less to do with the actual image and more to do with my mood/self-esteem at the moment. Maybe when I can see a photograph of myself and recognize that person as the one I see in the mirror, then I will consider my mirror a consistent diagnostic tool.

I really don't know the answers to any of this, and my questions are asked in earnest. I've never used calipers before and don't know why that would be significantly better.
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