We've all seen the Tanita scales and various devices that claim to measure bodyfat percentage by electrical resistance.
The theory is that fat has a higher resistance to the flow of electricity than muscle and water. Probably so.
I;ve never had a great deal of faith in these things because I have always assumed that electricity will take the line of least resistance, the moist surface of the skin.
I decided to test one of these gadgets.
OK: My gym has a sexy looking OMRON model that is V-shaped and you hold one arm of the V in each hand.
You then input your activity level: athlete or normal
I have often wondered why the scales and devices needed all this input...just MEASURE the resistance already
Results showed me, a tall man, at a pretty muscular 202, "normal" activity and a "tender" age. I ran the results and I got a consistent 21.4% I ran it again, carefully drying my hands: 21.4%
Okay...I changed a couple perameters and made myself "athlete" and 10 years younger.
Results: Bodyfat percent: 15.4%
So what this tells me is there is a computer chip which spits out averages and measures NOTHING. My electrical resistance, height, sex, and weight remained the same...and so did my bodyfat.
Basically I could have handed the "measuring handles" to an obese woman and she would have gotten the same results.
Conclusion: the machine is no better than finding a formula and plugging in your numbers. Actually, a formula that includes waist size would probably be far BETTER than this silly machine.