World Toilet Summit: A Flush of Excitement

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Now, you can kiss your excuses goodbye. The Tanita Corp. has just introduced a new line of bathroom scales, starting at under $100, which not only measure weight and body fat, but also body-water percentage.

The futuristic scales make calculations by sending a small electrical signal through your body, a process known as bioelectrical impedance.

By knowing your body-fat level, you'll be able to tell if you're replacing muscle mass for fat, even if you're not losing weight.

And by knowing your body's hydration level, you'll be able to tell if you're retaining water.

People who retain water tend to be cranky. So let's hope these scales are sturdy enough for those inevitable moments when they're chucked out the window by dieters who've run out of excuses.

5. Royal Flush: Stronger Toilets for More Luxurious Toilet Paper

America is on a never-ending quest for thicker, softer, multiple-ply toilet paper. Premium lines like Charmin Ultra are the fastest-growing segment of the bathroom paper industry.

You may think high-end TP — twice as thick as other varieties — would be an ecological disaster, not to mention the money consumers flush down the toilet. But bathroom industry experts argue otherwise.

According to Charmin's market research, the typical American uses 8.6 squares of toilet paper per bathroom visit and 57 squares a day. However, toilet paper consumption drops in half when a consumer switches to Ultra.

"A person knows it instinctively when they switch to a better toilet paper. With the extra thickness you just start using less," says Kenn Fischburg, president of

The trend toward thicker paper, however, has brought pressure on toilet manufacturers to bolster America's flushing power.

In recent years, the Environmental Protection Agency has demanded that toilets use less water, no more than 1.6 gallons per flush. That's not strong enough for some households, so industry leader Kohler Co. has come out with a line of toilets that give "booster flushes" when needed.