Measurement Tools


Body fat has many important functions. It is:

  • a "storage site" for energy that is used when your body is active or in times of illness or injury
  • protects your organs from injury
  • helpful in keeping your body warm.

Unfortunately, many people have too much body fat. This excess fat increases the risk for many diseases. Because of its relationship to health, there is now more of an interest in determining how much body fat a person has.

How is body fat measured? To learn more about the tools used to determine a person's percent body fat and how each of these tools "measures up" against the other, just click on the appropriate tool below.

Keep in mind that regardless of the method used, good results depend on the procedures followed, the accuracy of the measurements taken, and the assumptions of each method.

Bioelectrical Impedance

Body Mass Index

Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptionmetry

Girth Measurements

Near Infrared Interactance

Skinfold Measurements

Underwater Weighing

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