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Once upon a time, the lower the number on the bathroom scale, the better shape you were in. Modern technology has found a way to better measure fitness: body fat scales. Now, your bathroom scale is “smart,” and can measure not only your overall weight but also the percentage of your weight that comes from fat vs. muscle, bone, and water.
Body fat scales calculate your body mass index (BMI), which measures your weight in relation to your height. Carrying too much fat weight is known to increase your risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and some forms of cancer.
How the Find the Best Body Fat Scale for You
We estimate that gym-going men have about 15% body fat. For some, too much fat is obvious from their appearance. It is possible for a person to look thin and yet have too much fat, though, because fat can hide in many places in the body. And the old adage is true: As people age, fat replaces muscle if they don’t exercise regularly.
Determining body fat content once required a visit to the doctor. The best body fat scales now allow you to check your BMI quickly and conveniently—and for far less money. Step onto the scale, and a tiny electric current travels through your body, up one leg and down the other. The resistance the current encounters as it travels depends on the proportion of fat vs. muscle tissue in your body. Based on that, the scales use built-in formulas to estimate the percentage of your body weight that comes from fat.
We checked out Amazon and found several body fat scale options, ranging from about $25 up to $100. Here are a few that Amazon reviewers rave about.