chapter  3
12 Pages

Ethnic and Geographic Influences on Body Composition

Health Promotion Board, Singapore, Republic of Singapore


Body composition information on humans can be collected at various levels, such as atomic, molecular, cellular, tissue, or whole-body level (1). In the case of obesity, the main component of interest is body fat, at the tissue [adipose tissue obtained by computer tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning] or molecular level [body fat mass or body fat percent as assessed by densitometry or dualenergy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans]. In addition, the distribution of fat over the body is important. The latter can be evaluated by CT or MRI scans or by anthropometry.