What Is a Healthy Percentage of Body Fat?


Quick Answer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identify body fat percentages ranging between 18.5 and 24.9 as normal and healthy for adults. Often people use a measure called the BMI, or body mass index, to estimate this.

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Full Answer

According to Wikipedia, a person's body mass index, or BMI, is found by dividing his weight in pounds by the square of his height in inches and multiplying the result by 703. If the final result is 25 or higher, the person is considered to be overweight. If the result is 30 or higher, the person is obese.

The percentage of body fat recommended for men and women varies among the sexes. For example, FIT Watch recommends no more than 24 percent for fit women and 17 percent for men. The BMI for obese men is also much lower than that listed for women. Men with a BMI of 25 or higher are considered obese, whereas women are considered obese at a BMI of 32 or higher.

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