How do Body Composition Monitors Achieve an Accurate Result?

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Offline OldDragon

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I am intrigued by the results I have been getting from a hand held 'Body Composition Monitor' that I bought yesterday.  (On offer @ 4.99p each from Lloyds Pharmacy at this present time.) I though it might prove useful for the experiments I'm currently doing to try and improve my present state of decrepitude. [;D]

Last night I got the following readings from it:

Body fat: 49.6%; Body Water 35.1% and Body Muscle 47.3%!

Can anyone explain how these machines are supposed to work, please? How can one end up with a total percentage that exceeds 100%?

What - apart from the fact that I am clearly obese  [;)] - do these readings mean? (I am 56 years old, have limited mobility, am 5'6" tall, large boned - i.e. I have a hand span of 9" and take size 9 shoes  [::)] ), and weighed 15st 2lbs when weighed last week. I believe my ideal weight should be around 10st.)

What would be the ideal readings to aim to achieve when using one of these monitors, please?
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Offline OldDragon

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How do Body Composition Monitors Achieve an Accurate Result?
« Reply #1 on: 08/07/2008 12:02:03 »
I have learned that these monitors pass a mild electric current through the body and due to the double contact electrode points. However, what is the significance of the body water reading? Mine is consistently around 35%, but my son's around 50%. He is 29 years old and his body fat reading around 28% and body muscle 72%.

How can these machines get such results, and what is the significance of body water & the considerable variation?
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Offline Karen W.

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How do Body Composition Monitors Achieve an Accurate Result?
« Reply #2 on: 20/07/2008 12:18:31 »
I am still waiting to hear about the water....???

I couldn't find one of these but did find a scale that is supposed to do all that also.

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Offline Ian Scott

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How do Body Composition Monitors Achieve an Accurate Result?
« Reply #3 on: 22/07/2008 16:38:26 »
4.99p

Maybe we get what we pay for!

Enjoyable post though

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Offline Bored chemist

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How do Body Composition Monitors Achieve an Accurate Result?
« Reply #4 on: 22/07/2008 19:24:06 »
Re. the original question (and title of the thread). Is there any evidence that these things do actually achieve an accurate result?
As a crude (in both senses) experiment, can it tell if your bladder's full or not?
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