Here are some other tests that measure body fat. Sorry, you're on your own for theseno
Special calipers are used to measure folds of skin and fat in several spots on the body and average them. It is not a precise method; a reading of 25 percent body fat could mean an actual number as high as 28 or as low as 22or worse with a badly trained technician. Some obesity scientists describe this method as a rip-off or "faux information."
Accuracy: So-so, or worse
Starting cost: $10 to $20
Convenience: Widely available at health clubs; takes a few minutes
BIOELECTRICAL IMPEDANCE TEST
You lie down, a technician attaches electrodes to one hand and one foot, and a harmless
radio-frequency pulse is run through the body to measure its water content. That number provides a guide to body fat with an error of 2 or 2 1/2 percentage points. But exercise and liquid intake before the test can skew results.
Accuracy: Better than the pinch test
Starting cost: $25
Convenience: Takes only a few minutes; found at health clubs and sports medicine clinics
So far the "gold standard" of body-fat measurement, this test requires you to expel the air from your lungs and get dunked into a poolhalf a dozen times. It under- or overestimates body fat by only 1 percentage point.
Accuracy: The best
Starting cost: $25 to $50
Convenience: Available at many hospitals and some gyms, but it is grueling and can last an hour
An egg-shaped chamber that offers precision without pain. You step in, sit for 20 seconds, and that's it. The chamber measures air displacement, which can be converted to relative fat when weight is factored in, since muscular people are denser.
Accuracy: Preliminary tests show it's as good as immersion.
Starting cost: $25 to $125
Convenience: Found at only a few dozen big hospitals and doctor's offices, but it's quick and easy