T Nation

Scale That Measures Body Fat


Saw and ad for this in a mag the other day, but I'm to ignorant to actually debunk it myself.

It's a bathroom-type scale that is supposed to read your weight & bf to within 1% of accuracy. Sounds kind of hokey to me. How would this even be possible?



It measures Body Fat by electrical impedance. the thim metal strips on the surface are the contacts.

These scales can give you an idea of bodyfat but by no means are they the most accurate way or the most consistant way.

Many variables come into play such as the level of hydration of your body and wether or not the soles of your feet are wet IE just coming out of the shower.

If you test on these scales the bottoms of your feet should be damp and you should be at close to optimum hydration for the best readings.

Also there are some personal data you will have to input into the scale height measurements, sex, etc.

I own one and it gives a rough estimate pretty close but I have seen the fluctuations. Nice to have but hardly the best way.


Thanks for the explanation. Sounded too good to be true. I'm not really in the market for one but I was curious if something like that was actually feasible.


I heard that these scales are way more accurate at body fat % less than 10 and if you hold a shoe while using the scale.


Yes it is feasable there is a standard electical impedance test in which they have you lay down and place electrodes on your body which is more reliable than the scale but still alot depends on your level of hydration so there are variables.

But having said all of the above its not a bad thing to have just to give yourself an idea once in a while but I wouldn't use it for accuracy as I said I own one and it's a good scale and a cool quick bf test but I wouldn't use the figures for bragging rights know what I mean?


I've got a Tanita bodyfat scale... the thing is worthless in my book, I use it to check my weight but I've never trusted the bodyfat reading. If you're looking for a cheap but fairly reliable method of checking bodyfat, try the FatTrack II digital calipers.


I've had one for about 8 yrs. now. Very accurate, a great tool to use on a weekly basis.