By dotFIT experts
on October 07, 2008
Dieting to lose weight is difficult at best, and generally ends in frustration for the average person. The majority of people gain most of the weight back within the first year. However, there are three strategies that have consistently proven to be effective in losing weight and maintaining the loss. More...

Why does my age change my body fat reading using Skyndex calipers?


Answer:  The different settings on the Skyndex caliper dial are meant to account for the different types of body fat distribution between men and women as well as the changes that occur with aging. With age, people tend to store more fat around the organs, in skeletal muscle and under the abdominal wall, which is also called visceral fat. This additional fat is not measured directly by skin fold calipers, so when scientists developed the mathematical formulas that relate skin fold measurements to body fat, they had to account for this effect of aging by using different equations. If you are in great shape, especially for your age, you can ask your trainer to use a different number.

In the end, what matters is that the same setting is used each time so you are accurately recording change over time, not whether you are actually 18% vs. 22% body fat. In other words, skin fold calipers are always directionally correct and tell you if you are headed in the right direction.

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