Chapter 4: Body Weight and Composition | Reading and Writing Practice

Read the passage below and then answer the following questions.

Your body composition is the ratio of the various components—fat, bone, and muscle—that make up your body. The size and shape of two people who weigh the same, but differ in body composition, can look very different.

To better understand the concept of body composition, try to envision what one pound of metal looks like in comparison to one pound of Styrofoam™. The Styrofoam will take up much more space than the metal. In the same way, a person who weighs 160 pounds, with a body composition that includes a higher ratio of fat to bone and muscle, will be larger than a 160-pound individual with a lower ratio of fat to bone and muscle.

Your body composition is an important factor in your weight. Muscle and bone weigh more than fat. A person may weigh more than someone else because she is more muscular, not because she is overweight. Athletes often train for long hours, which builds muscle and increases bone density. It should not be a surprise, therefore, that athletes often have considerably lower body fat averages than nonathletes.


G-W Learning