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Stiftung Warentest: Many body fat scales measure incorrectly
Body fat scales are intended to provide users with basic information on the percentage of adipose tissue in the body and thus enable a better assessment of their own body weight. However, according to a recent study by Stiftung Warentest, body fat scales often measure incorrectly. According to the Stiftung Warentest, the scales were wrong by up to 23 percent with their details.
According to the current test, a reliable determination of body fat is hardly possible with most examined body fat scales. According to the product testers, deviations between 14 and 23 percent of the actual body fat percentage occurred during the fat analysis. The comprehensive results of the investigation were published in the magazine "test".
Determination of body fat mostly inaccurate A total of 19 personal scales at prices from 13 euros to 150 euros were checked by the Stiftung Warentest. "Including 16 electronic devices with body fat analysis, extra large display or voice output and three mechanical scales", reports the foundation. All test scales would have shown the weight reliably, but when measuring body fat, the measurements were often significantly different from the actual fat content. The data from the body fat scales were compared with the reference values of a professional measuring device, which "determines the body fat percentage with a measurement through the whole body by hand on foot", according to the press release of the Stiftung Warentest. In the home appliances, the body fat percentage is determined with the help of electrodes in the scales, which send an imperceptible current through the body when they come into contact with the bare soles of the feet. Taking into account the previously entered age, gender, size and often also the fitness level, the body fat percentage is then calculated on the basis of the measured current resistance. "However, since the measurement only covers the lower body up to the navel, the results are inaccurate," report the testers.
The deviations in the body fat scales can also be seen from the fact that the devices often came to very different results for the same test person. A scale showed 17 percent body fat and the next 35 percent body fat in the same subject. In comparison to the professional measuring device, all scales deviated on average by 14 to 23 percent. "The biggest discrepancies came from a discounter scale," the Foundation said. The devices examined are, however, predominantly suitable for everyday use. In the end, ten products were given the rating "good" and only one scale was rated "poor". (fp)