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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) scans provide the most precise body composition measurements. However, they are expensive methods. Various other types of body fat analyzers are available to the general public, like the Bio-electrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) and Skin Calipers.
The body fat percentage (BF%) is a measure of fitness level that directly calculates a person's body composition without regard to height or weight.
This percentage includes essential body fat and storage body fat. Essential fat is the necessary fat to maintain life and reproductive functions, stored body fat, is the accumulated fat in the adipose tissue. Part of which protects internal organs in the chest and abdomen.
Different authorities have consequently developed different recommendations for ideal body fat percentages.
The percentage of essential body fat for women is greater than that for men (3–5% in men, and 8–12% in women).