Our expert says:
The determination of % body fat is a rather complex process. According to Burke and Deakin in their book 'Clinical Sports Nutrition' the most accurate determinations are achieved by two methods: 1)'underwater weighing' to determine body density based on the Archimedes principle (if the mass and density of an object and the density of its constituent parts are known, then the mass of each can be calculated). This is therefore, not a method that can be used except in research laboratories. 2) Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) which is also usually restricted to research labs. The so-called indirect methods such as measurement of whole body conductivity are used in gyms where the electrical properties of lean and fat mass are measured by a machine and compared with each other. Burke & Deakin do not regard the latter method as very accurate. Skin fold measurements and calculations are also used but require a trained dietitian or sports scientist to take the readings and then interpret the results.
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