Obesity has become a modern age disease and many people suffer from it and its many consequences. Being overweight can damage the health of a person, and because of that fact many people exercise and watch their everyday diet.
According to the body mass index (or shortened just BMI), there are four categories of people. You can be underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. All you need to do is to calculate the BMI and look at the charts, to evaluate your body weight. However, this method doesn’t say anything about the percentage of fat in your body. This fact is also very important, because body fat, especially belly fat has been associated with increased risks for your heart and many other organs in the body.
Measuring Body Fat
When you want to determine the percent of fat in the body, there are several useful methods. You could use DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptometry), Calipers (skinfold measure), hydrostatic weighing or NIR (near infrared interactance) or some other technique.
DEXA is commonly used to determine the density of the bones, but doctors found the same method useful for measuring the percent of body fat. Skinfold measurement includes measuring of skin thickness on different spots on the body, especially chest or abdomen. Hydrostatic weighing is done under water, and it is based on the premise that the person with more body fat will weigh less under water.
Underwater weighing and DEXA are considered accurate, but these methods are very expensive and demand special facilities to be determined. Because of that, many people turn to body fat scale, less expensive and similarly truthful method for measuring body fat.
Body Fat Scale
This method uses bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), and during the measurement a very small amount of electricity has been passed through the patient. Fat tissue is more resistant to electricity than muscles, and that fact is used to calculate the density of the body and estimate amount of body fat.
Body fat scales are easily available, much less expensive than other reliable methods for determining the body fat. Also, you can use body fat scales regularly, at home, and monitor your everyday progress in fat loss.
The problem with body fat scale is the number of factors that could interfere with the results of measurement. Temperature of the body and the room, physical activity and amount of water in the body can significantly affect the results, and even if everything has been under control, the final percent of fat in the body still remain only rough estimation.