Body Fat Percentage
The body fat percentage (BFP) is the total mass of fat divided by total body mass, times 100. Total body fat includes two types of fat: essential body fat and storage body fat.
ESSENTIAL BODY FAT
Essential fat is necessary to maintain life and reproductive functions. Women have higher body fat and essential body fat percentages relative to men for any given level of fitness. This difference is attributed to physiological differences, such as hormones, ovulation and childbearing.
The percentage of essential fat is 4–5% in men, and 10–13% in women.
STORAGE BODY FAT
Storage body fat consists of fat accumulation in adipose tissue. The main role of adipose tissue is to store energy in the form of lipids, although it also cushions and insulates the body, protecting internal organs in the chest and abdomen. While some storage body fat is needed, excess accumulation of fat can be harmful.