Weight Loss Support - Bone mass and hydration questions

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04-24-2009, 08:12 PM
I recently bought this (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10264537#ProductDetail) Health o meter scale, on the recommendation of aangel22 and ahope2277. I really like it so far, even though it weighed me 3 pounds heavier than the balance beam scale at my gym. My question is for anyone who has a scale like this, or really anyone at all who knows about bone mass and hydration.

The scale measures both of these things, but I have no idea whether my numbers are good or bad! It tells me how many pounds of bone I have, and the percentage of water in my body. What are "good" or ideal numbers? I know it will be different based on weight, age, gender, etc, but is there a device to determine what is right for me? I am female, 20, 110 lbs. I have 4.2 lbs of bone and 57.1% water.

Thanks for any help!!

04-24-2009, 09:04 PM
I. have. no. idea.
I think the numbers with respect to water and bone are what they are. I would be most concerned with fat weight...

04-24-2009, 10:37 PM
Why would the scale track those things if they don't matter? I know that they don't have a lot to do with weight loss, but I was intrigued as to whether there are targets or not. I think the scale is supposed to tell you whether you are well hydrated or dehydrated, for example, but I have no idea if 57% means I'm getting enough water or not...?

04-24-2009, 11:04 PM
Bone density cannot be measured by a scale. It can only be measured by using special x-rays or ultrasound.

04-24-2009, 11:20 PM
Sorry, I didn't mean to mention bone density, it measures bone mass, like how many pounds of my body is bone, as opposed to fat/muscle/water.

04-25-2009, 06:16 AM
I think that when I got my scale I read something in the instructions about hydration percentages. But as for bone weight??? I have no idea.

Did you try a google search or something like that?

04-25-2009, 07:39 AM
I think the scale comes with a little booklet of instructions that probably explains the readings and what they mean.

I wouldn't worry too much about bone mass on a scale like that. It can only be a calculated estimate.


04-25-2009, 08:11 AM
I thoroughly read the booklet that comes with the scale. It has a lot of information about bones, and how you should get a lot of calcium, etc, but nothing to do with numbers. There is a section on hydration as well, but also involves no actual ranges or target numbers. It does have a chart of what body fat percentage should be for your age/gender, etc, but that is the only chart. I did google search the bone mass thing, but I really couldn't find anything, which is why I asked here. Oh well, I guess it's not that important...

04-25-2009, 09:22 AM
I was really i intereged by this, as ive never heard of a scale that measures bone mass or body water.

I did find a link to a page which is about another set of scales, but they do the same thing. I can't post the link though, it says I havn't got enough posts to do that yet.

It says this about the body water.
"Every individual varies but as a guide the average total body water percentage ranges for a healthy adult are:
Female: 45 to 60%
Male: 50 to 65%"

Dosn't help you much with the bone mass though, I think if you just keep an eye on it and don't worry about it unless it changes dramatically.

Hope the water bit helps anyway!

04-25-2009, 01:17 PM
I think they don't give guidelines because the scale and the particulars measures it makes, and how it does them, are not medically validated and used. But they include them because it increases sales.

04-25-2009, 07:55 PM
I've been looking at this online because it really is a mystery! But from what I gather from a number of articles, the reason for these measurements are:
1. BMI -- to see if your height/weight ratio is within healthy ranges;
2. Body Fat percentage -- to see if you are losing body fat;
3. Hydration -- not as an absolute number per se but a relative number. That means when you start, note what hydration (or percentage of water) that you are. If you weigh again, and the number is DOWN and you have lost weight, you might registering a water loss rather than a fat loss on the scale.
4. Bone mass -- again, not as an absolute number per se but a relative number. Again, if your body mass is down and your bone mass is down, you may be losing bone as a result of dieting.
NOTE: there are no healthy numbers for bone MASS as measured on a home scale. There ARE healthy numbers for BONE DENSITY, which is a test that your MD can do to see if you have osteoporosis, or loss of bone density. SO, I think that if you see your bone mass dropping, it MIGHT be an early indicator of osteoporosis. But this measurement is not diagnostic -- you'd have to see your MD.
Why do they do it???
Some people LOVE to measure everything, I guess. Personally, I just stick with the numbers once a week for weight. I'll do the exercise, and talk to my MD about a bone density test if I have any concerns...
This is the best that I could do...

11-03-2010, 04:01 PM
Rowenna, I just ran across your post...

I bought a different model (same brand) and the booklet with it states for hydration:


For Bone Mass, it has this:

FEMALES: age 20-29 normal= 6.2-7%
FEMALES: age 30-39 normal= 6-6.8%
FEMALES: age 40-49 normal= 5.6-6.4%
FEMALES: age 50-59 normal= 5.2-6%
FEMALES: age 60-69 normal= 4.9-5.7%

MALES: age 20-29 normal= 7.6-8.4%
MALES: age 30-39 normal= 7.4-8.2%
MALES: age 40-49 normal= 7-7.8%
MALES age 50-59 normal= 6.6-7.4%
MALES age 60-69 normal= 6.3-7.1%

For those who were denigrating the use of the various figures, they can be of use depending on your health situation.

Body Fat % - obvious. When one diets WITHOUT exercise, they lose both fat, muscle mass and possibly bone density (depending on the diet type). Ideally your BF% should be going down as you diet, showing that you are exercising sufficiently to maintain muscle/bone mass.

Hydration % - while this is a relative from person to person, it can have importance. A lower % here can mean thicker blood, which can be problematic if you have a weak heart (as I do). Also water retention fluctuates a lot more than weight does, so comparing this figure can indicate if a weight gain/loss is actually water retention/loss instead of fat. I can 'gain' a pound or two, and realize it was because I retained water from having bacon at breakfast and ham at dinner - I didn't actually gain any real weight at all.

Bone Mass: this number can vary significantly between individuals. It's importance is that it doesn't go DOWN while you are dieting. While it isn't a direct bone density reading, you can infer bone density health by this figure, as denser bones are heavier (which provides a larger figure). Particularly with older dieters, calcium, vitamin D & exercise will help prevent osteoporosis. If this figure persistently goes down over time, then it makes sense to consult a doctor; if it goes UP, then I'd say kudos are in order for strengthening your bones. The figures given I suspect are just a generic range for health bones within age brackets.

Body Mass Index: I think we all know the use here. For height, weight and age, it gives you a general indication of how healthy your body size is. It has obvious limits - a weight trainer can have an 'overweight' BMI when he is obviously in good physical shape; a person can have a BMI in normal range, and have an extremely high body fat %, making them unhealthy. But for an average person who exercises moderately, it gives a quick idea of how you stand against the actuarial tables for longer life.