Local News

Learn High-Tech Way To Find Ideal Weight

Posted April 4, 2005

— When you step on the bathroom scale, you see one number, but that number means different things for different people. Your age, height and body composition are factors to consider, but there is another way to find your ideal weight.

Football linemen are usually big and on a BMI scale, you might think many are obese. Mike Huff, sports performance coordinator at Duke University, knows how much fat and muscle Duke football players carry. They have all been through the K-lab where he works.

"They're heavily muscled. They're big guys, but not necessarily overweight, over-fat," he said.

Now, Huff is helping Grace Taylor learn about her body composition with the Bod Pod. She used to be a competitive swimmer.

"When I hung up my suit at the end of college, I didn't do anything for 20 years. I did nothing, and I started running about five years ago," she said.

Unlike a hydrostatic tank that measures body fat by displaced water, the Bod Pod does the same through displaced air.

"It's fairly new and we found it very useful, very accurate," Huff said. "If we can determine what body fat composition they have, then we can help them set a realistic weight goal."

That goal is different for men and women. The point where body fat is considered excessive is 21 percent to 30 percent for men and 31 percent to 40 percent for women. The ideal lean weight for men is 13 percent to 20 percent and 23 percent to 30 percent for women.

Taylor found that she is in the lean category with just 22 percent body fat.

"It tells me that I'm leading a very healthy lifestyle, especially for a harried mom that's got 100 things to do every day," she said.

Maintaining an ideal body weight can help you greatly reduce your risk factors for cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

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