Monday, October 28, 2013
Faced with a body fat test that many experts call unfair, some members of the U.S. military are turning to liposuction to meet the Department of Defense's stringent standards, according to a new report by The Associated Press:
Some service members say they have no other choice because the Defense Department's method of estimating body fat is weeding out not just flabby physiques but bulkier, muscular builds.
The so-called tape test method of testing body fat has raised a lot of controversy, with many fitness experts calling it inaccurate.
Dr. Jordan Moon, director of the Sports Science Center Research Institute in Denver, recently told the Army Times:
“It’s ... awful for people who are very muscular. The problem with the tape test is that it doesn’t account for muscle, it just accounts for size.”
As Home Post reported earlier this year, the Marine Corps Times offered troops at Camp Pendleton free dunk tests to measure their body fat. According to the MC Times, the dunk test is a much more accurate way to determine body fat.
A website for FitnessWave San Diego, a company that specializes in dunk testing (a.k.a. hydrostatic testing), claims using water to test body fat is the "gold standard":
"Based on the Archimedes principle, hydrostatic testing is a more exact measurement because bone, muscle and connective tissue, known as lean mass, sinks while body fat floats, giving you a more accurate measurement than with traditional body fat testing methods."
(You can watch a VERY fit young man getting a dunk test in the video posted below.)
Still, the Department of Defense is sticking with its tape test, with officials telling The Associated Press...
...only a small fraction of those who exceed body fat limits perform well on physical fitness tests.
And while the DoD isn't exactly embracing the thought of service members getting liposuction, it isn't banning the procedure, either.