Family & health

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Body fat scales

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It’s important to know how much fat you’re carrying.

We tested seven body fat scales for accuracy and assessed how easy they were to use.

From our test

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Why use a body fat scale?

If you’re trying to track your weight for good health, bathroom scales can help you monitor your progress.

However, weight isn’t the only factor you should consider, it’s also important to know how much fat you’re carrying. Too much (or too little) body fat can be risk factors for health conditions, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

That’s where body fat scales come in – as well as your weight, they measure your body fat percentage, and some models also calculate the percentage of muscle, water and bone in your body. We tested seven body fat scales for accuracy and assessed how easy they were to use.

How do they work?

Body fat scales send a very low electrical current through your body via your feet. Tissue containing a lot of water, such as muscle, lets the current through easily, but fat contains comparatively little water, so it resists the current – the higher the resistance, the more fat you have.

The scales use that data, together with information you enter, such as gender, age, height and level of fitness to calculate your body fat percentage.

Some body fat scales aren’t suitable for people with pacemakers as the electrical current could interfere with the pacemaker. If you have a pacemaker, check with your doctor before using a body fat scale. The readings may be unreliable for children, athletes and bodybuilders, people with metal plates or screws in their body, and pregnant women.

Our test

To find out more about our body fat scale test, become a paying Consumer member or log in at the top of this page to find out more.

What to look for

To find out more, become a paying Consumer member or log in at the top of this page to find out more.

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