Body fat can lead to obesity and other chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The conventional body mass index (BMI) only measures total body weight, without taking body fat and muscle mass into account. A very muscular person, for example, may have a low percentage of body fat but a high BMI.
The body stores a large amount of fat directly beneath the skin. Measuring the thickness of skinfolds in different areas of the body can help a person estimate their body fat percentage.