Tanita BC-545N Innerscan

A clever body-monitoring machine to help with the New Year detox

Image: Hugh Threlfall

This being the time of year when rebooting one’s Christmasified body tends to be top of the agenda, this brilliant product from Japan’s Tanita could either be your new best friend or your nemesis. In the form of large-ish bathroom scales, it provides – within just 15 seconds – an almost intrusive range of body measurements, including body-fat percentage, bone-mineral mass, basal metabolic rate, metabolic age and visceral fat, otherwise known as abdominal fat, or one’s beer belly – and, oh yes, weight.


I was sceptical about a machine claiming to do all this from making contact with your bare feet. However, the display section cleverly detaches to become a hand-held controller-type thing, which extends on a sprung wire and sends pulses through your entire body. You, of course, can either read out the bad news on the colour display and suck on it, or exercise and try to improve things. Whichever, the best thing is that, unlike the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scales I reviewed recently, and many other health devices like it, the Tanita won’t share your vitals on Facebook. Huzzah for that.