Body Fat Scales

A staggering sixty-five percent of Americans are overweight — raising serious concerns about health risks. There are plenty of products out there aimed at helping you lose weight. A body-fat scale is one of them — and these scales are hot sellers. They claim to measure your body fat percentage. Consumer Reports just tested several.

"I do cardio two or three times as well." "So that's about right."

When you join a gym, a trainer often gives you a full work-up.

"5.5 again."

Measuring the percentage of body fat is part of this fitness assessment.

Consumer Reports just tested
body-fat scales. They promise to measure your body fat in the privacy of your own bathroom. The scales tested range in price from 40 dollars to 115 dollars. While they look like regular scales, they work a little differently.

"There's a small electrical current that's generated. It goes up one leg, across your hip, down the other leg."

The amount of resistance is used to compute a body fat result.

You have to program your height, age and gender. That determines the formula used to estimate your body fat.

Consumer Reports had panelists use the scales. The results were compared to those from a standard laboratory test.

Overall, the performance of the body fat scales proved mediocre.

"In our tests we found that of our panelists, only 80 percent of them really had a result that we could call at all accurate."

And that's from the best performing scale. Others were even less accurate.

So Consumer Reports says when it comes to body-fat scales — if you're looking for accuracy — don't bother!

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