Body Fat Percentage: Charting Averages in Men and Women (Very Well Health)

Posted: Feb 26, 2024 in In the News

This article originally appeared in Very Well Health on February 26, 2024.


Body Fat Percentage: Charting Averages in Men and Women

By Laura Dorwart

Body fat (BF) percentage refers to the ratio of fat (adipose tissue) in the body in comparison to overall body weight. While body mass index (BMI) is often used to estimate body fat, it’s not always an accurate method of doing so.

Some researchers believe that body fat percentage provides a more reliable indicator of the potential for obesity-related health complications like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.


What’s Below Average?

The overall average body fat percentage in the United States is about 39.9% for women and 28.1% for women, so below these amounts would technically be “below average.” However, most people in the United States tend to have higher BF percentages than recommended. 

According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a body fat range of 25% to 31% for women or 18% to 24% for men is typical for the average nonathlete. A BF below 14% for women or 6% for men may be considered dangerously low and can lead to health risks.


Read the full article here.

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