2

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Most accurate body fat percentage measuring

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 17, 2012 at 12:52 PM

What is the most accurate body fat percentage measuring mechanism?

There are so many: hydrostatic, DEXA, bodpod, fat calipers, tape measurements...

What do people think is the most accurate? Is your opinion based on experience or hearsay?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on November 17, 2012
at 07:55 PM

The skin calipers, once you get used to them, give very reliable results. The bioelectrical devices are ok too if you control as many variables as possible... The best reason to know bodyfat is to know if you are loosing lean body or fat body -- whether a measurement is accurate is not as important as precision.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 17, 2012
at 04:01 PM

Most folks probably underestimate body fat, so they'd probably be consuming a little more protein than is necessary based on LBM, not the worst thing I think. A 180-pound dude with a difference of 5% in his true BF is 9 pounds LBM. At 1 gram per pound, that's a protein need difference of a mere 9 grams. Trivial I think, but that's just my take.

7b20db75b09540914bd0c852e868a9d6

(454)

on November 17, 2012
at 03:51 PM

in part because a lot of protein recommendations are based off of LBM. also because sometimes what people see in the mirror is even less "real" than an outside number.

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5 Answers

3
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 17, 2012
at 03:40 PM

What's the purpose of knowing an accurate measure of body fat? Most folks probably would do fine with self-measurement methods... tape measures, calipers, even crappy bioelectrical impedance scales. It's just a way of quantifying what you see in the mirror.

I think DEXA is quickly becoming the gold standard in accurate bodyfat testing though.

7b20db75b09540914bd0c852e868a9d6

(454)

on November 17, 2012
at 03:51 PM

in part because a lot of protein recommendations are based off of LBM. also because sometimes what people see in the mirror is even less "real" than an outside number.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 17, 2012
at 04:01 PM

Most folks probably underestimate body fat, so they'd probably be consuming a little more protein than is necessary based on LBM, not the worst thing I think. A 180-pound dude with a difference of 5% in his true BF is 9 pounds LBM. At 1 gram per pound, that's a protein need difference of a mere 9 grams. Trivial I think, but that's just my take.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on November 17, 2012
at 07:55 PM

The skin calipers, once you get used to them, give very reliable results. The bioelectrical devices are ok too if you control as many variables as possible... The best reason to know bodyfat is to know if you are loosing lean body or fat body -- whether a measurement is accurate is not as important as precision.

2
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on November 17, 2012
at 03:07 PM

I believe hydrostatic is the 'gold standard'.

1
F26fbc92b18f4689769d6f8746ea40f7

(334)

on November 17, 2012
at 06:58 PM

Definitely DEXA! It's level of precision and reproducibility is above all other methods.

1
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on November 17, 2012
at 06:42 PM

I was just reading up on DEXA. It's the gold standard in the medical community for measuring bone density, and so it's becoming such for the measurement of body composition. I'm thinking of getting it done.

0
7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2040)

on November 18, 2012
at 06:17 AM

You might be interested in this lecture by Keith Norris. You can skip to the 13:30 mark if you want where he shows an example of a DEXA scan. It was an interesting talk I thought especially the case study he used, neat to see what actually happens to your body with too much cardio.

http://vimeo.com/52862590

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