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Body Fat Inaccuracy?


This year my company offered a 'free health screening' to employees, of which I took part.  Tests included some basic blood work, blood pressure checks, height/weight measurement, and body composition testing.  None of this was particularly new to me, other than the body fat test, which I never had analyzed before.

To give just a summary of the relevant results I received (in compressed form):

Subject Age: 52
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 218 lbs
Body Fat Percentage: 36.8%
Lean Weight: 137.8 lbs
Fat Weight: 80.2 lbs

The results also gave me norms and ideals based on age, weight, and body fat percentage:

Ideal Total Fat Weight: 24-33 lbs
Overfat Weight: 47-56 lbs

Personally, I thought I was only about 25 pounds overweight going into this test, but perhaps I was mistaken?  I now wonder if the test was really accurate?  Measures were taken with calipers which they claim to be accurate in the documentation I have.  The couple of people I shared my personal results with however, were also surprised by the body fat computation which seems a bit overblown.

You can see me here at my work station: http://www.electro-comm.com/New/images/tour/People/Kevinatdesk.jpg Admittedly I have a bit of a belly (seated work contributing) but I'm not mammoth.  So can i trust these tests, citing me 50 or maybe even 55 pounds too fat?  Seems too much to believe, honestly.  Are there alternative ways I can easily confirm or refute this reading?

1 Responses
Avatar universal
According to my BMI chart a person who is 5'10 and weighs 218 puts them in the obese range or a BMI of about 31. Your BMI should be at 24 or lower. At 5'10 you should weigh about 170 tops.

Of course BMI doesn't take into account lean muscle mass and people who are big boned.

If you doubt the results go to your docotr and discuss it with him. A hospital will be have better equipment to test body mass then a tape measures and a micrometer. (Which is what I assumed you had done)
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