• Rebecca Luong

“Weight”, who’s talking? Body Fat or Weight?

Everyone talks about weight. But what is it?

Body weight= fat + muscle + organs + bones + water

Health risks arise from excess body fat. Excess body fat can increase risks of fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and certain cancers. Some fat is essential for body functions such as in bone marrow, organs, central nervous system, muscles and female reproduction.

So what we want is to ‘lose excess body fat’, not necessarily ‘lose weight’. Person A who’s 70kg with 35% body fat has higher health risks than Person B who’s 70kg with 19% body fat.

Generally, the body fat cut-off points for higher health risks are ≥35% for women and ≥25% for men. The figure below shows the recommended body fat % ranges for your AGE and GENDER.



Gallagher D, Heymsfield SB, Heo M, Jebb SA, Murgatroyd PR, Sakamoto Y. Healthy percentage body fat ranges: an approach for developing guidelines based on body mass index. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;72(3):694-701.

Ho-Pham LT, Campbell LV, Nguyen TV. More on Body Fat Cutoff Points. Mayo Clin Proc. 2011;86(6):584-.

Oreopoulos A, Lavie CJ, Snitker S, Romero-Corral A. More on Body Fat Cutoff Points Reply. Mayo Clin Proc. 2011;86(6):584-5.



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