Tag Archives: scales

Tanita Scale and Health Management

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BMI Versus Tanita to determine Fitness or Fatness

Body Mass Index or BMI is a common term  in the medical field when discussing fitness and degree of health. The BMI is simply a height to weight ratio. While being a good starting point, BMI certainly does not take into account other important aspects of health.

In this blog I will discuss how using a scale like the Tanita scale can offer much more insight into ones fitness and health status.

I love to use the example of Arnold Schwarzenegger! When he was a beast, in the 1970’s his height and weight ratio, that is his Body Mass Index (BMI) had him at >30, which put him in the obese category. Clearly the man, at his peak of training, was anything but obese and this illustrates that not all pounds are equal.

Tanita Scale

One of my favorite tools to use to assist in determining health status is the Tanita scale. If you’ve been reading any of my blogs you will know that I highly recommend this scale. It has useful data about body composition in addition to the BMI.

Monitoring your body composition is an important aspect of health management. The Tanita company is one provider that has this technology in the bag. According to their website they have been in business since 1944, and their only business is scales. Please see their website link at the end of the article.

The technology uses bioelectrical impedance to determine body composition. This type of body composition assessment has support of science and study validation. Their website states that their accuracy is within 50-100 grams!

As you know if you’ve been reading my blogs and Facebook posts, I only talk about what I have personal experience with and this Tanita brand is what I have used professionally and personally.

Professionally I began using this scale when I worked at a fabulously successful weight loss franchise in Austin, Texas, Med-Weight Loss: The One that Works! They use the professional Tanita scale product. This is one of the program tools that really helps people stay on track. The Tanita scales offer important information about the body. The following information is what I find the most helpful.

The parameters that I find helpful include:


Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

Fat Percentage

Metabolic Age

Fat Mass

Visceral Fat Rating

Fat Free Mass

Ideal Body Weight

Muscle Mass

Physique Rating

Total Body Water Percentage

Total Body Water

Bone Mass

How Does this Magic Work?

It does seem like magic, but there is science behind it. The Tanita scales use bioelectrical Impedance to determine body composition. This is a safe low level electrical signal that enters your body through your feet for the step on scales and your hands for the hand-held types. The signal passes quickly through tissue that is high water content, like muscle and body tissue and more slowly through less hydrated tissue. The computer calculates the difference in the return rate and determines the body composition based on this information.

These scales should not be used if you have any implanted medical device such as a heart pacemaker. Additionally, it is not recommended that pregnant women use this technology!

Why Do I Recommend Using the Tanita Scale?

I recommend using scales that give this data because weight alone is not the best indicator of a healthy body! Being overfat can cause a multitude of serious health issues. Analysis can reveal if body composition is in the healthy range. The Tanita scale will reveal your body composition which can reveal your health status. This can show you whether you are fit or fat.

For example, being skinny fat, means that one is normal weight but they have higher than acceptable body fat percentages. This normal weight person then has an increased risk for developing some of the same serious health condition associated with being obese.

In average cases the BMI is a fabulous starting point to assist in determining if exercise or eating plan adjustments need to be made, but for specific plans I recommend using the Tanita scale information! Indeed, if Arnold Schwarzenegger had his weight measured on the Tanita scale, I am sure his body fat percentage would be lower than 8% (that is a guess so don’t hold me to it and but the internet estimates it between 6-8%).

Which Tanita Scale?

The Tanita scale company provides many options for models that offer the parameters that I listed.  Some models have more features, and some of them are blue tooth ready.

I use the professional models which are priced in the thousands. Consumer models vary in price and are much more affordable. Consumers can choose models from under $100 to under $600 for the top models. 

In my opinion, the Tanita brand is the Cadillac of scales that offer these features, and in keeping with my brand of recommendation, I have used it with success and recommend purchasing one of these machines. (Oh and I am certainly not paid for this recommendation….they don’t know me from Adam, but tell them nursechrisp.com sent you!)

If you are middle aged and are healthy and want to stay that way, using the Tanita scale can help.

If you are middle aged and have some health issues, my ebook Second Chance at Health: Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating can help you!

Buy the book now!

I look forward to hearing from you!

And just for the record if you have any medical electronic implantable devices… or are pregnant… DO NOT USE THIS SCALE…