Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Measuring Body Fat

New methods are being aggressively marketed, but consumers should be aware of their limitations.

Determining how much you weigh is a simple matter of stepping on the bathroom scale. However; there isn't such an easy one-step method of determining how "fat" you are.

The reading on your scale, of course, is your total weight; it doesn't tell you what percentage of that weight is composed of fat, as opposed to lean body mass (muscle, bone and organs).

It's impossible to measure the amount of body fat on a living person with 100-percent accuracy. Researchers have developed a variety of methods for estimating body-fat content, however.

The two old standbys are underwater weighing and skin-fold measurements. New tests use such high-tech methods as bioelectrical impedance, ultrasound, X-ray and near-infrared spectrophotometry.

Body-fat testing is a growing business. Many health clubs offer it as a free service to new members, and to the general public for a fee, usually between $10 and $30. Coaches and trainers often include it in routine fitness evaluations. At least one popular diet program comes with a set of calipers to measure body fat.

It's important for anyone considering testing to understand the significance, and limitations, of the data it provides. Overemphasizing body fat as a measure of fitness has some ominous potential consequences, especially for women.

Because fat is commonly viewed as "bad," as something to be gotten rid of, many women expect their body-fat percentage to be unrealistically and even dangerously low: Some women are incredulous and dismayed to learn they have more than 20-percent body fat, for instance, though this figure is well within the normal and healthy range.

Is this much fat really healthy and necessary?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.