Tanita Body Fat Analyzer: Provided to New Lipo-Laser Patients at Community Health and Wellness Center, Plantation, FL

Tanita Body Fat Analyzer

Why Tanita Body Fat Analyzer?

There is growing evidence that clearly links body composition with health risks and the development of certain diseases. Research indicates that fat loss, not just weight loss alone, can extend human longevity.
By measuring body composition, a person's health status can be more accurately assessed and the effects of both dietary and physical activity programs better directed.

Why Measure Body Fat?

Measuring body fat Is important for determining fitness. Weight alone is not a clear indicator of good health because it does not distinguish between pounds that come from body fat and those that come from lean body mass or muscle. Carrying too much fat is a condition called obesity, and puts a person at risk for many serious medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes and even certain forms of cancer. In fact, obesity contributes to at least half the chronic diseases in western society.

Not All Pounds Are the Same

Overweight means an excess of total body weight based on population averages for heights and body frame sizes. Athletes and very muscular people may be overweight, but that does not mean they are over fat. Obesity means an excess of body fat regardless of weight.

How Does The Tanita Body Fat Analyzer Work?

The Tanita Body Fat Analyzer utilizes Bio-electrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). BIA is considered one of the most reliable and accessible methods of screening body fat. In conventional BIA, a person is weighed, then height, age, gender and weight or other physical characteristics such as body type, physical activity level, ethnicity, etc. are entered in a computer. While the person is lying down, electrodes are attached to various parts of the body and a small electric signal is circulated. Simply explained, BIA measures the impedance or resistance to the signal as it travels through the water that is found in muscle and fat. The more muscle a person has, the more water their body can hold. The greater the amount of water in a person's body, the easier it is for the current to pass through it. The more fat, the more resistance to the current. BIA is safe and it does not hurt. In fact, the signal used in body fat monitors can not be felt at all either by an adult or child.

Tanita's Patented BIA Method

Tanita has patented a revolutionary way of measuring BIA that is faster, easier, less intrusive and includes a precision scale making this a simple one-step process. In fact, Tanita was the first company to introduce the world to the body fat monitor/scale. Tanita's monitor looks just like a bathroom scale. A person inputs age, gender and height, then steps onto the platform. 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.

How Is Body Composition Determined?

Tanita Body Comp Printout

Basic Terms

  • Weight - refers to the total weight of the body including bones, muscle, fat, water, etc.
  • Overweight - is defined as a body weight that exceeds the acceptable weight for a particular person, based on individual height and/or frame size. Standards are usually determined solely on the basis of population averages that can and do change over time. Standards may also vary with gender and ethnicity. An overweight person does not necessarily have too much fat nor increased health risks if the excess weight is due to an above-average amount of muscle.
  • Obesity (Over fat) - is the condition where the individual has an excessive amount of body fat. Over 30 specific diseases have been linked to obesity.
  • Percentage Body Fat - is the percentage of total body weight that is fat.
  • Fat Mass - means the actual fat mass (in pounds or kilos) in the body.
  • Body Fat - functions as insulation, protection and energy reserve. When the percentage is too high, fat increases a person's risk of high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. It can also interfere with the immune system, prevent heat loss, stress the musculoskeletal system, cause sleep problems, and may affect self-esteem.
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) - is the rate at which the body burns calories to maintain normal body functions while at rest. It is affected by the amount of muscle you have. Body weight remains constant when you burn up the same number of calories you eat. a 3,500 calorie difference between dietary intake and energy expenditure is necessary to gain or lose one pound of fat. Weight loss by diet alone may result in a loss of muscle, and this will slow the metabolic rate, making it more difficult to keep the weight off. Exercise, however, increases your metabolic rate for hours even after exercise, and can increase the amount of muscle you have.
  • Weight versus Body Fat - Weight measurement alone cannot always accurately determine the body fat status of a person because it does not differentiate between the fat-free mass and fat mass in the body. The relationship between three categories of body weight and body fat can be described according to five different people categories.

1. Athletic or muscular body types (body builders) who have normal or low body fat even though they are overweight according to standard charts.
2. Lean, thin or linear body types with low amounts of fat-free mass (endurance athletes) who can be underweight according to the weight charts and extremely low in body fat yet physically very healthy
3. People of average weight and average body fat mass.
4. Big, heavy and soft body types who are overweight and obese from large amounts of fat mass and body weight.
5. People (often the elderly) who have too much fat mass and are obese but not overweight due to inactive and sedentary lifestyles.

Determining Obesity

  • Height-Weight Tables - were originally developed by insurance companies to establish recommended weight ranges for men and women. The "desirable" weights were those associated with the lowest mortality among large population studies of insured people. Unfortunately, these studies do not accurately represent a cross-section of the entire American population.
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) - is a simple calculation that determines height to weight ratio. This index correlates a person's physical stature with mortality ratios based on actuarial studies. According to the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization, overweight is defined as a BMI of 25-29.9, and obesity as a BMI equal to or greater than 30. A person with a BMI of 30 is about 30 pounds overweight/over fat. A BMI or 18 or lower indicates that a person is underweight.
  • Waist Measurement - Waist size is an additional, in dependent risk factor and can be used in conjunction with any other method. It reflects growing evidence that excess visceral fat - surrounding the abdominal organs - on its own increases the chance of heart disease or diabetes. Research indicates that visceral fat (waist size) is more important in the disease process than subcutaneous fat which is just under the skin ("love handles", "pinchable inches"). Abdominal fat cells appear to produce certain compounds that may influence cholesterol and glucose metabolism. A waist size of 35 inches or more is deemed a risk for people who have a BMI over 25.