Adipose tissue and Fat Mass
If two men are of the same height and weight, should we assume that they have the same physique and build? And if a woman's weight is rather high, does this inevitably mean she's overweight and has to wear large-sized clothes?
Well... not really.
An important factor contributing to individual differences is body composition. To precisely determine and measure overweight or underweight conditions, BMI [body weight (kg) / height2 (m)] is only the starting point, which needs to be fine tuned by additional measures: this is because BMI does not consider an individual's percentage of fat mass and muscle and bone structure.
Another measure that should always be considered, especially for health reasons besides aesthetic considerations, is the amount of adipose tissue - tissue mainly composed of adipocytes (fat storage cells) - in the body.
Body fat is our store of energy: if necessary, our body will take a certain amount of it and use it as its "fuel".
However, fat mass, when not used as a source of energy, may be dangerous for our health, by favouring the onset of diseases such as hypertension, hyperglycaemia and type 2 diabetes, which in turn might seriously damage our cardiovascular system.
It's easy to see why a healthy lifestyle is necessary and recommended: a healthy diet coupled with regular physical activity offers the best strategy for enjoying a healthy life and maintaining balanced body weight, while at the same time occasionally indulging in a "treat" that will also put us in a good mood!