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Body Fat Percentage Should Not Be Confused With Lifestyle Behaviors

      In their article “Healthy lifestyle characteristics and their joint association with cardiovascular disease biomarkers in US adults,” Loprinzi et al
      • Loprinzi P.D.
      • Branscum A.
      • Hanks J.
      • Smit E.
      Healthy lifestyle characteristics and their joint association with cardiovascular disease biomarkers in US adults.
      conclude that “only 2.7% of all adults have the characteristics of a healthy lifestyle.” Unfortunately, their conclusion is undermined by their analysis, which categorizes body fat percentage as a “healthy lifestyle characteristic” and as a “positive health behavior.” Although the other 3 characteristics used as primary end points in this analysis—physical activity, a healthy diet, and nonsmoking status—are important health behaviors, body fat percentage is not. Body composition (bone, lean, and fat mass) is largely an inherited characteristic. Previous studies have indicated that it may be programmed by genetic and environmental influences during intrauterine life.
      • Gale C.R.
      • Martyn C.N.
      • Kellingray S.
      • Eastell R.
      • Cooper C.
      Intrauterine programming of adult body composition.
      Body composition varies significantly by sex, age, race, and ethnicity, which may account for the differences ascertained in this study.
      • Wagner D.R.
      • Heyward V.H.
      Measures of body composition in blacks and whites: a comparative review.
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      References

        • Loprinzi P.D.
        • Branscum A.
        • Hanks J.
        • Smit E.
        Healthy lifestyle characteristics and their joint association with cardiovascular disease biomarkers in US adults.
        Mayo Clin Proc. 2016; 91: 432-442
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        • Martyn C.N.
        • Kellingray S.
        • Eastell R.
        • Cooper C.
        Intrauterine programming of adult body composition.
        J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001; 86: 267-272
        • Wagner D.R.
        • Heyward V.H.
        Measures of body composition in blacks and whites: a comparative review.
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