Monday, February 1, 2010


Skinny-Fat: When someone is thin and looks great in clothes, but is all flabby underneath. They may have a low weight-to-height ratio, but have a higher than expected body fat level. They have no muscle tone and are weaker than expected.

Often these people eat a horrible diet (which may include high levels of alcohol and/or cigarettes), and use chronic stress to keep their body weight low. This stress may be from their career or in the form of chronic "cardio" exercise. These peoples' physiology are similar or worse than that of a typical obese individual.

Here are some examples:


Janet Ziems said...

Is it better to be skinny-fat, or fat-fat? Or, are both problematic?

Also, I definitely see skinny-fat in the first two photos, but not so much in the others. Maybe I need captions!

Dan Hubbard, M.Ed. said...

neither is fat-fat, nor skinny-fat is ideal. But, generally as body fat levels rise beyond an ideal range (8-16 for males and 14-22% for females) risk of a disrupted physiology increases (ie. elevated insulin levels, elevated inflammation, etc.). Again, the point of this post was to show that even though all of these people look "skinny", there body fat levels are higher than the ideal range. The pictures may vary, but for example, in the last picture a 25-30 year old female with no visible arm definition probably has a body level greater than 26%.