# Eli5 How does my scale know what my muscle mass, bone density, and water weight is?

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Eli5 How does my scale know what my muscle mass, bone density, and water weight is?

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Your scale doesn’t actually know any of those. It’s likely making an informed guess of sorts base off your body’s conductivity to make a guess about body fat percentage.

It doesn’t. It will put a current that travels up your legs to check your biological impedance and then guesstimate your entire body composition based upon the result it gets. It is comparatively inaccurate to other methods of obtaining this information like a DEXA scan.

It doesn’t.

What the manufacturer do is gather a large number of people and measure their muscle mass, bone density, etc. with conventional measurements. Then they use the scale – which measures electrical conductivity – and measure that for everybody.

Then they do a bunch of fancy math to come up with a model that works the other way – it takes a conductivity measurement – and predicts what the other values are.

It does a pretty poor job at it.

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0

Eli5 How does my scale know what my muscle mass, bone density, and water weight is?

In: 1

Your scale doesn’t actually know any of those. It’s likely making an informed guess of sorts base off your body’s conductivity to make a guess about body fat percentage.

It doesn’t. It will put a current that travels up your legs to check your biological impedance and then guesstimate your entire body composition based upon the result it gets. It is comparatively inaccurate to other methods of obtaining this information like a DEXA scan.

It doesn’t.

What the manufacturer do is gather a large number of people and measure their muscle mass, bone density, etc. with conventional measurements. Then they use the scale – which measures electrical conductivity – and measure that for everybody.

Then they do a bunch of fancy math to come up with a model that works the other way – it takes a conductivity measurement – and predicts what the other values are.

It does a pretty poor job at it.