Hi ShawnaMarie, thanks for getting back to me. I'm probably not navigating the site very well. But I asked RDs with the CSSD certification, and no, my question hasn't been answered yet. Thanks! -Deborah
ShawnaMarie Woodward replied:
Replied On 12/19/2011 3:17:15 PM
Ok. I am new to using the site this way as well. The answer I provided is brief, but may provide some direction. Let me know if you would like me to take it further:
Skin Fold Calipers are one of the least reliable and least accurate methods to assess body fat, due to a few things. Most often, it is human error. Having a degree in exercise physiology, we were taught that it isn’t until we had done hundreds of measurements that we should consider ourselves accurate or skilled. Also, there are different calculations that can be used. They take into account age, sex, etc and have specific sites for each test/formula. Another consideration is repeating the test sites. Each site should be tested twice (not in a row, but in sequence) and if there is a significant difference (I can’t remember what the difference would need to be), the measurements should be taken again. With that said, I was always taught that Lang was one of the best skin fold calipers. The calipers should also be well cared for and calibrated on regular basis.
Underwater weighing and DXA would be the most accurate way to access her current percent of body fat. However, they may be difficult methods to endure or obtain access to. Bioelectrical impedance scales may be helpful for long term monitoring. They may not be exact, but they would show trends. The individual should way first thing upon waking, as hydration can change the results. As I mentioned, it may not be as accurate as hydrostatic weighing or DXA, but it would allow the subject to observe trends.
I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me with any further questions.