How to measure the percentage of body fat?


Body weight is always determined based upon two main factors; muscle mass represented by the muscles and the percentage of body fat represented by two types; essential fats and stored fats. As for the essential fats, they are necessary for the different vital processes, and for the stored fats, they are harmful fats that often cause obesity, which has become a global health problem because it causes risks to a person's physical and psychological health.

Methods for measurement of body fats:
    Body mass index (BMI):
Depending on that body fat percentage we can measure the level of obesity, a law has been established that links person’s weight and height with the level of obesity, which is known as body mass index and is the quotient of dividing body weight (in kilograms) by the square of height (in meters).
BMI is one of the easiest ways to determine the level of obesity, but because weight gain may be due to increase muscle mass, here the BMI is an ineffective method to determine the percentage of body fat.

    The average of body density:
We can determine the percentage of body fat depending on information about density average. It is known that the fatty tissue density is less than the muscle mass and bones, so it is possible to calculate the average body density (total mass divided by total volume) and apply a mathematical equation to convert the value to the percentage of body fats.

    Underwater weight:
It is considered one of the best ways to measure the density of the body, then measuring the percentage of fat in the body.
It is done by going down in a pool of water and sitting on a chair dedicated to measure weight, then shrinking and expelling the largest amount of air from the lungs and stabilizing for 10-15 seconds to allow the chair to measure weight, and with the information about mass and volume, the density is calculated, and the percentage of body fat is determined by performing a Prozic or Siri equation.

    Biological electrical resistance analysis:
Fat tissue is a poor conductor of electricity, unlike muscle mass that contains a percentage of water so it is a good conductor. Hence, electricity can be used to determine the percentage of fat in the body.
It is done by holding an electrode in each hand, then a specific electrical current is sent and its strength is determined, thus determining the extent of the body's ability to conduct electrical conductivity.

    Skin folds:
It is one of the anthropometric methods, which is the measurement of pressure on the skin using a caliper-like instrument at certain points in the body to determine the thickness of the fat formed under the skin, and then using certain mathematical equations these measures are converted to the percentage of fats in the body.
Although this method may not give correct measurements of the percentage of body fat, it can be used to determine the extent of the change in the body over a certain period of time.

With the increase the awareness of importance of maintaining a healthy body, the trend has now become to try to get rid of harmful fats by exercising, eating healthy foods and trying to enjoy a healthy life free from harmful habits that cause health problems such as smoking and drinking alcohol.

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