Comments and Key points
This article has data concerning the body fat percentages of non-European rural persons from several different regions of the world. Unfortunately, it’s quite difficult to learn anything really specific or definitive from their article. For example, the graph below shows % body fat versus Body mass index, but the lines are too hard to read for individual nationalities.
Their overall conclusion was that the differences are not significant. It is also noteworthy, that the body fat percentages are fairly similar to North Americans, (just slightly lower) at equivalent BMI levels. Don’t believe me? I superimposed the above graphs, onto the Heritage study1 of North Americans, and now you see the lines are almost right on, very close to Americans.
In case you are having trouble reading the chart, the "African" data is from south of the Sahara. The "Indo-Mediterranean" data is Indian sub-continent, middle east and Lapps, but not other Europeans. The "Asian" data is mainly North, Central and South Americans but with 9 samples of Chinese and Japanese. The "Pacific" peoples, excluded Hawaiians. They got their data by a big literature search. All were non-urban peoples.
- Jackson AS, Stanforth PR, Gagnon J, et al. The effect of sex, age and race on estimating percentage body fat from body mass index: the Heritage Family Study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord, Jun 2002;26(6):789-96