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Body Fat Calculation and Body Fat Monitors

body fat calculationThe first body fat monitor for home use came along in the mid-1990s. Since then, the technology has developed rapidly, and today numerous companies are selling the devices, often at surprisingly cheap prices.

The monitors use a technology called bio-electrical impedance analysis (BIA) to do body fat calculation, and if you want to understand body fat monitors you should learn a little about BIA.

In essence, a small, harmless electrical current is passed through the body, and BIA measures the impedance - or resistance - to this current from fat in the body. The more fat, the more resistance. Conversely, the more water, the less resistance.

Traditionally, this technology required the user to lie down, while electrodes were attached to various parts of the body.

However, today's monitors are generally like a bathroom scale, with electrodes in foot sensor pads sending a current through the body. The resulting data is combined with other information - such as the person's height and weight - to calculate a body fat percentage.

Some people question the accuracy of such monitors for body fat calculations. However, the only foolproof method to calculate body fat percentage is an autopsy. Failing that, another method is underwater weighing.

Bone and muscle have a higher density underwater, while fat has a lower density. So taking the weight underwater, and then out of the water, allows an expert to calculate body fat percentage.

Home monitors, based on BIA, can be very accurate, although it is important that the user follows the instructions. For example, if he or she is dehydrated a false reading can result. Drinking a lot of coffee or alcohol can also adversely affect the calculation, as can hard exercise or a big meal right before the reading.

See also my report Helping You Find the Best Body Fat Scale, which lists the 15 best body fat monitors, based on Amazon.com customer reviews. And check out the Bestsellers in Body Fat Monitors rankings at Amazon.com - updated hourly - to see what people are currently buying.

I have written reports on the following models:

Escali Body Fat Calculators
Omron HBF-306 Body Fat Analyzer
Omron HBF-400 Body Fat Monitor and Scale
Tanita BC 533 Innerscan Body Composition Monitor
Tanita Body Fat Scale
Tanita Innerscan BC-545 Segmental Body Composition Monitor
Tanita InnerScan Body Composition Monitor Series
Tanita Ironman Body Composition Monitor Series
Taylor Body Fat Scale
Taylor Glass Body Fat Analyzer & Scale
Withings WiFi Body Scale - Does More Than Calculate Body Fat Percentage

December 21st, 2009

 

See Also:

Reviews
Escali Body Fat Calculators
Omron HBF-306 Body Fat Analyzer
Omron HBF-400 Body Fat Monitor and Scale
Tanita BC 533 Innerscan Body Composition Monitor
Tanita Body Fat Scale
Tanita Innerscan BC-545 Segmental Body Composition Monitor
Tanita InnerScan Body Composition Monitor Series
Tanita Ironman Body Composition Monitor Series
Taylor Body Fat Scale
Taylor Glass Body Fat Analyzer & Scale
Withings WiFi Body Scale - Does More Than Calculate Body Fat Percentage


Articles
Best Scales for Calculating Body Fat
Body Fat Calculation and Body Fat Monitors
Body Fat Percentage Calculator - Guide to Resources
Guide to Buying the Best Body Fat Monitor
Healthy Body Fat Percentage
Helping You Find the Best Body Fat Scale
How to Calculate Body Fat
Ideal Body Fat Percentage
Omron Body Fat Analyzer - Why Is It So Popular?
Tanita Body Composition Analyzer - Why Is It So Popular?
Tanita Body Fat Monitor - Which Is Most Popular?

 

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