I made a decision to file constant physique fats measurements for myself and a buddy utilizing the Halo, a Fitbit rest room-scale, and extremely rated pores and skin caliper. In November and December, I took early-morning measurements with the Halo and toilet scale; my spouse pinched my pores and skin folds in 4 areas with the caliper. I measured my take a look at the topic’s physique fats as soon as with every system.
Our outcomes had been remarkably comparable for 2 males with very totally different physique compositions:
- The Amazon product estimated that my buddy, a 6-foot-3 man weighing 198 kilos, had 24 % physique fats, the Fitbit scale learns 19 %, and the skin-fold measurements added as much as 20 %.
- For myself — 5-foot-6 and about 140 kilos — the Halo stated in November that I had 25 % physique fats, the Fitbit scale stated 19 %, and the skin-fold measurements added as much as 20 %. In December, the Halo stated I had 26 % physique fats (alas, I had extra Thanksgiving leftovers than normal), the Fitbit scale stated 20 %, and the skin-fold measurements added as much as 21 %.
Dr. Cheskin speculated that the Halo may need an overestimating bias in its algorithm as a result of underestimating physique fats for an overweight particular person can be extra problematic.
Dr. Maulik Majmudar, Amazon’s medical officer, who labored on the Halo, stated individuals ought to anticipate the system’s outcomes to be totally different as a result of the strategy was extra correct than physique fats scales and calipers.
Amazon developed its body-measuring algorithm from a pattern set of tens of 1000’s of photos of individuals our bodies from throughout a variety of demographics, he stated. Amazon then did inner checks measuring individuals’ physique fats utilizing the Halo scanner, good rest room scales, and DEXA, a way that makes use of X-rays to scan for bone density, which researchers have discovered to be a dependable measure for physique fats. It discovered that the Halo methodology was twice as correct as restroom scales.
Nonetheless, Dr. Cheskin was unconvinced by Amazon’s accuracy claims. He stated a sound examination would contain a medical trial measuring physique fats of many human topics with every methodology — the Halo, DEXA, bioelectrical impedance scales and calipers — and evaluating the outcomes facet by facet.
Correct or not, essentially the most disappointing part of Amazon’s physique fats evaluation was that it lacked vital context. Regardless that the app requested for my ethnicity, age, and intercourse, it stated my 25 % physique fats degree was too excessive and nicely exterior the “Wholesome” zone (roughly 12 to 18 %). It additionally stated wholesome outcomes had been related to longer life and decrease dangers of coronary heart illness.
Dr. Cheskin provided an extra nuanced evaluation. Physique fats ranges could have totally different well-being implications relying on your age, ethnicity, intercourse, levels of cholesterol, and household historical past. Waist circumference issues, too, as a result of extreme stomach fats will be related to well-being issues.