PRODUCT REVIEW: Tanita Scale and Body Fat Monitor

Long has there been a myth that as long as you keep your weight low, you are healthy. If you are over a certain weight for a certain height (as in the Body-Mass Index chart), you are considered over-weight, unhealthy and at risk for many illnesses.

Here lies the problem: Measuring weight alone is not an accurate assessment of one's health or fitness. This number does not distinguish the unhealthy weight of fat from the healthy weight of lean-muscle mass. Too much body-fat is unhealthy but so is too little. Generally, most people suffer from having too much body-fat rather than too little. According to a federal survey conducted, more than half of the American adult population is overweight and one out of four children is obese. Obesity puts an individual at risk of numerous medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and certain forms of cancer. At least half of Western society's chronic diseases can be traced back to obesity.

On the other hand, having too little body-fat is also unhealthy, especially for women. It can result in osteoporosis and musculoskeletal problems. It can also cause the upset of the hormonal balance causing loss of menstruation.

Body-fat testing

Before in-home body-fat scales were readily available, you would either have to go to a professional facility where you can get a hydro-static test or under-go the caliper-pinch test. Done correctly, the hydro-static method is considered one of the most accurate. However, this procedure is not convenient for most people as it is not readily available everywhere, is expensive and is a lengthy test. Skinfold measurement utilizing a caliper is often used by many health and fitness personnel but is prone to human error. It is highly subjective to the skill of the technician and the site(s) being measured. While inexpensive, it is best performed by a trained professional and even so, the more obese the subject, the more difficult to "pinch" the skin correctly. Many people also find calipers to be uncomfortable and invasive.


Tanita is a leader in body fat and weight management products. They were the very first company to design and manufacture body-fat monitoring scales specifically for in-home use. Tanita use the same technology in their home models that they use for their professional analyzers that are found in medical centers, doctors, fitness clubs, professional athletic teams and personal trainers.

Tanita's Body-fat Scale

Tanita uses its patented revolutionary Bioelectrical Impedance

Analysis (BIA) Method for its precision body-fat scale. The scale looks just like a regular bathroom scale and takes up very little space in your home. A person inputs age, gender and height, then steps onto the platform briefly. Electrodes in the foot sensor pads send a low, safe signal through the body. Weight is calculated automatically along with body fat content in less than a minute. It does not getting any easier than this. Independent research has confirmed that in clinical settings, the Tanita Body Fat Monitor is accurate within +/- 5 percentage of the institutional standard of body composition analysis.

Our views

We had the opportunity to test out the 2202 Model recently. This model features the two-person Duo Scale plus Body Fat monitors store two sets of pre-programmed personal data for fast, simple operation. The Duo models are designed specifically for two people who want to stay in control of weight and body fat management. Not only are they functional, the contemporary design will also not look out of place in any home's bathroom. Form AND function, all in one small package!!!

Having just had my body-fat percentage tested using the hydrostatic method, I was very please to report that repeated use of Tanita's scale came in within 2% of the reading obtained from the hydrostatic test. It does not get easier than this. For less than half the price of a hydrostatic test, you can own a personal body-fat and weight scale that you can use again and again in the privacy of your own home.

To obtain additional information about Tanita's products, visit their web-site or call (800) 9-TANITA.


Shawn H. Ooi is a Los Angeles-based freelance personal trainer specializing in fitness, boxing, kickboxing and martial arts instruction. With over 16 years of professional experience, he has trained some of L.A.'s influential professionals as well as Hollywood's elite. Shawn is available for one-on-one or group training sessions and consultations. He may be reached at (323) 960 7631 or at [email protected].

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