It is quite interesting that Asian body fat percentage has lower body mass index (BMI) but higher percentage of body fat than do whities.
This article has equations to predict asian body fat percentage, based on body mass index, race and gender. When graphed, they look like this, showing little difference in women, but a bigger difference in men. Asian body fat percentage in men have higher body fat % at similar BMI.
There is a table in the article, showing the Asian body fat percentage s that are expected at a "Normal" BMI of 25 kg/m2.
|Body Fat %|
Or, to state it differently, I took their formulas and calculated the BMI necessary to achieve a body fat percentage of 25% in men and 33% in women.
But there’s something fishy about that result. Their "White" men seem to have a higher than expected BMI (29.59 kg/m2 ) when Asian body fat percentage is 25%. If that figure is too high, then the difference between white and Asian men is also probably too high of a percentage. Their sample came from New York, with an average age of 51 years. That’s a little older than most other studies.
This article mentions that Asians have shorter leg lengths, and also greater amounts of subcutaneous fat percentage in the upper body.
One last comment. I think their abstract has a mistake. It says that the racial differences were greater in women, but in the actual article, their equations and data tables show a greater difference in body fat in Asian men than women.