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Fat Control, Inc.
Stewartstown, PA 17363
(717) 993-3550
Email - jack@fatcontrolinc.org

History of Fat Control, Inc.
by Jack Osman, PhD

As an exercise physiology undergrad student and competitive gymnast, I was fascinated with body composition. I could never float, but was (erroneously) told that everyone can. We now know that anyone under 15% body fat can not expand their lungs sufficiently to displace enough water to float motionless. In class we learned how to assess body fat using the Lange skinfold calipers, but these were expensive, spring-loaded metal calipers that few could afford.

In graduate school I studied health and nutrition. Analyzing the typical “height-weight” charts, I began to realize that something was seriously wrong. I had a mesomorphic (muscular) body type, but maintained a relatively slender appearance. Even when I used the large-frame option, I still exceeded the upper weight limits for my height. I was far from fat, but I was clearly over the upper range limit. I soon realized, however, that I was not alone. Many males and females who consistently used muscular resistance training techniques also tipped the scales heavier than what the charts indicated they “should” be.

After finishing grad school and publishing my first weight control book, I wanted the public to have access to alternative ways to assess body composition besides the scale and circumference measurements. Nothing was available for under $175 (then) that could reliably, simply, non-invasively measure body fat.

When I started to train for marathons, I began having “creative moments” on those long training runs (during “runner highs”). In a series of “visions” during the mid 70s, the caliper design, concept and company name became apparent. The design was legally protected in 1977. Fat Control, Inc. was incorporated in 1978 and the Fat Control company trademark registered in 1981.

Tool and die experts, engravers, plastic manufacturing companies, and exercise physiology experts were consulted. It was decided that a resilient resin (that was relatively unbreakable) was needed for the product. Engraving of the measurement indicators would be built into the mold for more consistency and reliability of the finished product. Much “tweaking” of the mold was necessary before public release of the product.

The product received exceptional reviews. It was calibrated to be consistently within +/- one millimeter of accuracy of the very expensive spring-loaded, metal calipers. We were very pleased. An Instruction Manual and a book on controlling dietary fats followed soon after production began. Since 1981, hundreds of thousands of Fat Control, Inc. skinfold calipers have been produced and distributed worldwide.

Customer satisfaction is important to us. We have listened and are responding to the needs and interests of our clients. Plans are underway to release a video tape, CD-ROM, and audio/print book based on working with hundreds of weight control clients. We recommend that you bookmark this site and revisit every two weeks...join us as we evolve into the definitive web site for dietary fat control and wellness.

Copyright 2003, Fat Control, Inc.