T Nation

Tanita Scale Discrepancy

i know there are lots of varibles but does any one know how much they are off on bf levels?for example you know you are 10% and you get on the scale and it says 22% for a difference of 12%.i know its not exact just an estimate.anyone?

mine does the same, the cheap tanita is worthless. We have a very expensive tanita machine at work, for physiology research, on that i score 12% which is pretty much backed up by the mirror, the cheap home one 20% ish.

Well, because of big variances in people’s body-water levels, electrolytes, etc., etc., I think that it’d be tough to come up with any sort of calibration factor that would accurately and, more important, consistantly measure your true bf%. I think most people agree that the Tanita bf readings are more useful to monitor trends in your bf%, than to monitor actual bf%.

[quote]brunottfn wrote:
i know there are lots of varibles but does any one know how much they are off on bf levels?for example you know you are 10% and you get on the scale and it says 22% for a difference of 12%.i know its not exact just an estimate.anyone?[/quote]

Two years ago I picked up a Tanita scale in order to monitor my bodyfat. I used it according to the instructions and also saw great fluctuations in bodyfat %. I returned it after two weeks and got my money back. I went back to skinfold. If you think about it. How often do you need to measure your bodyfat anyhow? I think I got caught up in the hype.

How do you “know” you’re 10%? Did you get a DEXA scan done? If you didn’t get a DEXA scan done, then you’re just guessing. Maybe you’re a lot fatter than you think.

[quote]brunottfn wrote:
i know there are lots of varibles but does any one know how much they are off on bf levels?for example you know you are 10% and you get on the scale and it says 22% for a difference of 12%.i know its not exact just an estimate.anyone?[/quote]

I have a scale that isnt made by tanita that appears to be fairly accurate and precise. When I was leaner it told me I was leaner, now that I’m a little heavier it tells me my BF has gone up.

I find that ways to make the scale “work” are to Measure under the same conditions:

1 - Same day(you probably shouldnt be weighing more than once a week anyway)

2 - Same time that day

3 - Measure BEFORE breakfast or a shower, but AFTER going to the bathroom.

So every Monday, just get right out of bed and hop on the scale, unless you need to use the bathroom.

And yeah… Post up some pictures and we will let you know if you are 10% or 23%. Im inclined to side with the scale sometimes because people like the see the abs they dont have.

This topic has been beaten TO DEATH. Do a search.

i was not using myself for an example,i cant find a person who can do calipers in my area

I have some Tanita scales and they seem to be fairly accurate. You have to use them hydrated at the same time of the day and average out the result over three days.

They are close to what a skinfold test tells me.

When I first got them, they told me I was between 18-20% A skinfold test at the Gym said I was 17%

Now they are telling me I’m 12-14% and a skinfold test I had the other days said I was 12%

I noticed that in the morning or when I’m dehydrated they will give very poor results. Between 5-10% over what I get when I’m hydrated.

[quote]Huh? wrote:
I have some Tanita scales and they seem to be fairly accurate. You have to use them hydrated at the same time of the day and average out the result over three days.

They are close to what a skinfold test tells me.

When I first got them, they told me I was between 18-20% A skinfold test at the Gym said I was 17%

Now they are telling me I’m 12-14% and a skinfold test I had the other days said I was 12%

I noticed that in the morning or when I’m dehydrated they will give very poor results. Between 5-10% over what I get when I’m hydrated.

[/quote]

The only people I have ever known who claim those thoings work are extremely skinny people and some women. Muscle mass screws up the reading making them useless for most bodybuilders.

X is right. Been done to death. But to recap, the Tanita not only grossly overestimates fat in people with any degree of muscle, but it also can’t differentiate between fat and fat-free mass. I have experimented and gotten on the scale in a dehydrated state and drank a ton of water.

And my bodyfat has supposedly gone up. If the electrical impedence was doing what it was supposed to, it would’ve gone down.

By the way, I HAVE had a DEXA scan that found me around 9.8%. On the same day, the Tanita had me at 21%.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
How do you “know” you’re 10%? Did you get a DEXA scan done? If you didn’t get a DEXA scan done, then you’re just guessing. Maybe you’re a lot fatter than you think.

brunottfn wrote:
i know there are lots of varibles but does any one know how much they are off on bf levels?for example you know you are 10% and you get on the scale and it says 22% for a difference of 12%.i know its not exact just an estimate.anyone?

[/quote]

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Huh? wrote:
I have some Tanita scales and they seem to be fairly accurate. You have to use them hydrated at the same time of the day and average out the result over three days.

They are close to what a skinfold test tells me.

When I first got them, they told me I was between 18-20% A skinfold test at the Gym said I was 17%

Now they are telling me I’m 12-14% and a skinfold test I had the other days said I was 12%

I noticed that in the morning or when I’m dehydrated they will give very poor results. Between 5-10% over what I get when I’m hydrated.

The only people I have ever known who claim those thoings work are extremely skinny people and some women. Muscle mass screws up the reading making them useless for most bodybuilders.[/quote]

You wouldn’t even have to be a bodybuilder. If your arms are bigger than 12 inches, the Tanita probably wouldn’t be very accurate for you.

Well I wouldn’t consider myself extremely skinny. I have a decent amount of lean tissue. Although I’d probably look skinny standing next a professional BB.

Anyway, the seem to work alright for me, hen hydrated. and I can only pass on my experience with them.

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
Professor X wrote:
Huh? wrote:
I have some Tanita scales and they seem to be fairly accurate. You have to use them hydrated at the same time of the day and average out the result over three days.

They are close to what a skinfold test tells me.

When I first got them, they told me I was between 18-20% A skinfold test at the Gym said I was 17%

Now they are telling me I’m 12-14% and a skinfold test I had the other days said I was 12%

I noticed that in the morning or when I’m dehydrated they will give very poor results. Between 5-10% over what I get when I’m hydrated.

The only people I have ever known who claim those thoings work are extremely skinny people and some women. Muscle mass screws up the reading making them useless for most bodybuilders.

You wouldn’t even have to be a bodybuilder. If your arms are bigger than 12 inches, the Tanita probably wouldn’t be very accurat
e for you.[/quote]

My arms are bigger than that.

[quote]Huh? wrote:
Well I wouldn’t consider myself extremely skinny. I have a decent amount of lean tissue. Although I’d probably look skinny standing next a professional BB.

Anyway, the seem to work alright for me, hen hydrated. and I can only pass on my experience with them. [/quote]

Define “a decent amount”.

Enough not to fall under the category of extremely skinny.

The only time i used one was when comparing bodyfat with calipers, infrared measure and the tanitas. The one we used had an “athlete” option and made it immensly more reliable with the other 2… Just my exp. (I found the infrared the most hard to use and unreliable).

[quote]Huh? wrote:
Enough not to fall under the category of extremely skinny. [/quote]

Whatever, dude. If you think they’re a useful tool for you in any way, use them. It’s no accident that most people here think they’re crap.