Saturday, July 11, 2009

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Body Fat

Body fat is a part of the human body and what scientists mean when they refer to a person’s weight or body composition. The percentage of body fat in healthy humans ranges from 5 to 40 per cent. Females have more body fat than males. For females, body fat should not be less than 15 percent and for males, not less than 5 percent.

Female fat is designed to ensure the survival of the species by providing enough energy for a woman to survive any famine that might hit while she is pregnant. So in general, men will lose weight much more easily than women.

The other major difference between men and women is in plasma leptin levels, which are significantly higher in women even after adjustment for the increased fat mass. Although plasma leptin is correlated with fat mass in men and women, the level is 3 times higher in women for a given fat mass.

An obese person has a high amount of body fat. Women with more than 32% body fat are considered obese, as are men with more than 25%.

Body fat distribution

It is important to know where your fat is located on your body. This can tell you whether you are at a higher risk of certain health problems.
The fat that women store around the hips and buttocks is designed to help them survive pregnancy in times when food is scarce and is, therefore, may not dangerous to their health. The fat that men, and post-menopausal women, store around their waists, however, is much more dangerous.

Carrying too much fat around the middle is the first visible sign of a problem. Raised blood sugars, or increased blood fats (like cholesterol) are the first metabolic signs. If these continue untreated long enough, diabetes will be the first illness sign. And the others health problems, such as heart disease, will follow soon.

The most common way to determine a healthy weight for a person is by using a tool called the body mass index (BMI).But some doctors use body fat percentages to measure body fat. This method uses measurements of weight, height, and the amount of fat on different body parts to estimate body fat percentages.

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