What Is Body Fat?
The term body fat refers to the excess fat stored by the body. Basically body fat is a store of energy that has not yet been utilized by the body; body fat is created when one ingests a greater amount of calories than that which is required to carry out the day to day functions of the body. The excess calories are stored as fat throughout the body and is classified as both essential body fat and nonessential body fat.
Essential body fat is required by the body to function properly; it is responsible for the regulation of body temperature, optimal functioning and cushioning of the internal organs and also as an emergency source of energy during illness.
This essential body fat has a percentage measure of 2-5% for men and 10-13% for women, below these levels poses a serious risk to the health of the individual. Excess or nonessential body fat however can be dangerous and lead to serious health problems and is associated with type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension .
The Tables are adapted from the ACSM and NIH/WHO classifications of body fat percentage