Body Fat Percentage Chart

Determining the full picture of an individual’s health may require a number of measurements, scans, and laboratory tests. Because this would not be practical or cost-effective for healthcare professionals to do when first seeing a new patient, they often rely on charts such as the widely-used BMI chart or body fat percentage charts by age, height, and gender.

While no chart alone can reflect a person’s entire health profile, charts like these are based on historical data and can often provide a good indication of potential health issues. They are also used by many medical professionals to gauge the risks and complications an individual may encounter while undergoing certain procedures or surgeries.

Today, we are going to discuss body fat percentages, what they mean, and how they are determined. We will also explain why body fat percentage charts are often a more accurate picture of an individual’s health vs. the BMI chart. We will provide several charts for your convenience, including some male body fat percentage charts and female body fat percentage charts broken down into age ranges.

BMI Charts vs. Body Fat Percentage Charts

When you are first becoming familiar with these health indicator charts, it can be a bit confusing. Your doctor tells you that you need to reduce your BMI and lower your body fat percentage and you wonder, exactly what that means.

BMI

BMI (body mass index) is a number that results from a quick height and weight calculation and may be used to determine eligibility for a weight loss program or surgery. If you are unsure of your BMI, you can check it here with our convenient online BMI calculator. A BMI of over 30 is considered obese, and individuals at or over this number may be at risk of experiencing weight-related health issues such as diabetes type 2, hypertension, sleep apnea, and more.

A person’s BMI is fast and easy to calculate, but it has a few major drawbacks. People are built differently, and delineations such as ethnic background, gender, and muscle mass are not accounted for in the BMI equation so it is often inaccurate. Muscle mass weighs more than fat, so many athletic people have BMI readings that are artificially elevated. Using percentage of body fat calculations would provide a more comprehensive picture of their health status.

Body Fat Percentage

The male and female physiques are designed differently, each having its own natural body composition. Women’s bodies naturally require a larger percentage of fat to ensure their hormonal and reproductive processes function as they should. A woman’s body usually averages about 25% to 30% body fat vs. 18% to 24%, which is the average percentage for a man. The human body requires a certain amount of body fat to function properly, so having too small a percentage of body fat is just as unhealthy as having too high a body fat percentage. The ranges for body fat percentages change as you get older.

Some of the functions your essential body fat performs include:

  • It helps protect you from the elements;
  • It provides protection and insulates your vital organs;
  • It helps store essential vitamins and nutrients;
  • It helps regulate hormones.

Infographic: body fat percentage

How Do You Determine How Much Fat Your Body Is Carrying?

There are different tests that can be done to provide body fat percentage results, and some are more readily available than others. One is to measure the fat that can be pinched around your midsection with a special set of calipers; another is to take certain measurements that the U.S. Navy uses; and the others involve water or air displacement and require specialized equipment to perform.

Once you are given the number that correlates to your percentage of body fat, then you need to refer to a body fat percentage chart by your age to see where you fall and if you need to adjust your lifestyle to improve your health.

What Do Typical Body Fat Percentage Charts Look Like For Men and Women?

Since men and women are built differently, each gender has its own body fat percentage charts that are categorized by age.

Female Body Fat Percentage

Female Body Fat Percentage Chart
Classification Fat Percentage
20-29 Years Old 30-39 Years Old 40-49 Years Old 50-59 Years Old 60-69 Years Old
Unhealthy (Deficiency) less than 14% less than 14% less than 14% less than 14% less than 14%
Ideal 14-16% 14-17% 14-20% 14-23% 14-23%
Good 17-20% 18-21% 21-24% 24-27% 24-27%
Fair to Poor 21-26% 22-28% 25-30% 28-34% 28-34%
Unhealthy (Obesity) over 27% over 29% over 31% over 35% over 35%

Male Body Fat Percentage

Male Body Fat Percentage Chart
Classification Fat Percentage
20-29 Years Old 30-39 Years Old 40-49 Years Old 50-59 Years Old 60-69 Years Old
Unhealthy (Deficiency) less than 8% less than 8% less than 8% less than 8% less than 8%
Ideal 9-10% 9-14% 9-17% 9-18% 8-19%
Good 11-14% 15-18% 18-20% 19-22% 20-23%
Fair to Poor 15-22% 19-24% 21-25% 23-27% 24-28%
Unhealthy (Obesity) over 23% over 25% over 26% over 28% over 29%

Where Can I Get Help With My Body Fat Percentage?

Every individual is different, and what is considered within a healthy range for you may not align perfectly with the BMI chart or body fat percentage chart. A doctor who specializes in weight loss and obesity medicine, like Dr. Steven Batash, is an excellent resource for those wanting to achieve sustainable weight loss.

Dr. Batash and the team at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center understand the complexities behind obesity and that there is no blanket solution that works for everyone. They work with you to tailor a program that meets your specific circumstances and will overcome any underlying conditions that may impede your progress.

We offer a selection of non-surgical weight loss tools that can help your efforts count for more so you reach your ideal weight and body fat percentage and are able to maintain it. Losing weight can be life-changing for many individuals, and maintaining that loss then becomes a way of life. When you join our patient family, we provide you with the knowledge and strategies you need to reach your goals and will support you through your program and beyond. Give us a call today or make an appointment online to learn more about your options to reduce your body fat percentage and become healthier.

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