There are a thousand companies selling weigh and body fat scales that are supposed to measure your weight and total body fat percentage. While on paper the proposition seems enticing, the big question is – do you really need to know your weight and total body fat percentage?
It is true that body weight might be confusing at times as there is no information on what percentage of your weight is fat and what percentage from muscle bulk. While muscle bulk might not be that harmful to an individual, excess fat is. An obese person is more likely to suffer from heart conditions and other chronic diseases. Hence, in addition to weight, measuring your body fat might be an excellent idea, as that would give a more specific information about your health status.
In addition, your body weight might vary during the day. For example, you might put on several pounds after each heavy meal. So, if you measure your weight after having lunch or dinner, you might get disappointed. But as you can see that is not the true picture. Alternatively, measuring your body fat might give you a qualitative idea of your overall health condition. But bear in mind that, fat distribution is considered more important than the fat percentage. For example, fat deposition in abdomen might be more harmful as you might be more susceptible to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and even cancer. On the other hand, fat deposition in thighs and buttocks might not be that harmful to someone. So, you should take all these readings of your weight and body fat with a grain of salt.
Does that mean all these readings and statistics are worthless? No, not at all. There are no unified, perfect scales on earth. While weight and body fat scales have their certain drawbacks, they are useful in providing an initial estimation of your health. That is why, when you visit the hospital, your doctor first measures your weight and total body fat. He will cross check those measurement data with your presenting problems and make a provisional diagnosis or suggest further tests.
In addition to being used as initial screening tests, weight and body fat scales serve several other functions. You can gauge whether you need to bring a change in your daily exercise plan by simply looking at these measurements. Additionally, you might get an idea which food to take and which one to avoid by measuring your body fat percentage.
In conclusion, weight and total body fat are valuable measurements for exercising individuals and for general people. But before purchasing a machine for your home or medical facility, just make sure you are purchasing from a credible seller, and their machines give perfect readings.