To measure a person's fat level the body can be
imagined schematically as divided into two components: lean body mass and
fat body mass.
The relative proportion between these two parts can be measured with
diagnostic techniques that define the lean and fat body mass percentage.
The methods more commonly used, for this purpose, are Plicometry and
Plicometry is based on the principle that there is a direct relation
between the subcutaneous adipose tissue and thin body mass so
measuring the depth of some folds in the skin, made with a kind of slide
rule, it is possible to know the fat mass and then the remainder is the
lean body mass.
Densiometry is a methodology based on the observation that thin tissues
absorb particular electromagnetic waves in different ways compared to fat
tissues and allows evaluation of the two percentages. The densiometric estimates are more
reliable with instruments that carry out sample measurements on the whole
body. Both techniques are reliable and repeatable, neither invasive nor
painful. Normal values of fat body percentages are as follows:
for women between the ages of 15 and 35 normal values are between 17 and
for men between the ages of 15 and 35 normal values are between 9 and 17%
It is true that men usually have half the body fat present in women, but
this is a genetically pre-disposed space evaluations that is not linked to
A woman who is 20 years old with 9% body fat will be anorexic and a man of the same age with 25% body fat will be overweight.
Nature has made us as we are and we must resign ourselves to accept it.
When you begin a weight control program, it is important to determine your
body fat in order to understand if the weight you are losing is made up of
fat or lean body mass.
The ideal loss of weight for overweight people, is the one that leads to
fat mass loss but preserves or increases the mass percentage relatively.
Thin mass loss could cause tissue flabbiness, muscular loss, metabolism
decrease and, as a consequence, a further fat mass increase. In short,
less weight but more body fat, exactly the contrary of the aim!
Strict diets followed by eating disorder - patients often lead to this