July 9, 2008 9:19 AM Subscribe
Fat: What is it good for? How does body fat, and fat in your diet help you? Why is a really low body fat percentage unsafe?
posted by Phalene to health & fitness (25 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm having a debate with someone who usually follows rational, logical arguments, but while his math and physics is sound, his biology is less informed and he believes that dangerously low body fat levels (ie 5% on a guy, 12% on a woman) are practical and reasonable. Help me explain in clear phrasing, with as much reliable scientific backing as possible, what good things human body fat does for the diet and how fats are something that you need in your diet, not an indulgent extra?
Bonus points if you can find me a scientific article that explains how body fat has a genetic component to how much and where you put it down, as he seems to operate under the idea that food in -exercise = what you get out, for all humans, no mater what the state of their thyroid or whatever.