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Question
Posted by: Jay | 2004/11/09

Body Fat Percentage, is it good or bad???

hello

I asked Diet Doc the same question but was hoping you could offer me a fitness professionals angle. I am 21yrs old and 1.75m tall. I used the Body IQ machine at the gym and it mentioned that my body fat percentage is 22% I know that it is probably not 100% accurate but as a rough estimate is that good or bad. If it is bad, what should I do to improve this?

Thx

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Jay

The BodyiQ machine is relatively accurate, but highly repeatable. That's the beauty of it, because it allows you to take measurements over a period of a year, for example, and be 100% sure that they are being done the same way each time. That's what it means to be repeatable. Whether it's valid or accurate is another question. There have been studies to compare it to other methods and the truth is it is very accurate for its simplicity. The best method is something called the DEXA scan (an Xray machine), and the BodyiQ machine is 88% comparable with this, which is very good. So, your value of 22%, provided it was done correctly (Because as with all machines, there is a chance of error), is probably pretty close to the truth. The problem is that people often compare the BODYiQ to the skinfold method, done using the calipers and this is probably the least accurate method, because it relies so much on the human subjectiveness. I know very few people who are fully qualified to use the calipers, yet every gym has numerous people who do the measurements, and often people compare very poorly on the BODYiQ. I believe the skinfold method is the problem.

As for the value, ideal body fat depends on age and gender. Here is a table showing you the ideal ranges:

Male
Excellent Good Acceptable Fair Poor
16-29 < 12 12 - 15 16 - 20 21 - 26 > 26
30-39 < 14 14 - 17 18 - 22 23 - 28 > 28
40-49 < 15 15 - 18 19 - 23 24 - 29 > 29
50-59 < 16 16 - 19 20 - 24 25 - 30 > 30
60 + < 18 18 - 20 21 - 25 26 - 30 > 30


Female
Excellent Good Acceptable Fair Poor
16 -29 < 18 18 - 19 20 - 24 25 - 32 > 32
30 -39 < 19 19 - 22 23 - 27 28 - 33 > 33
40 -49 < 21 21 - 23 24 - 28 29 - 34 > 34
50 -59 < 23 23 - 25 26 - 30 31 - 36 > 36
60 + < 24 24 - 26 27 - 31 32 - 38 > 38
R

Regards

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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