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A generally applicable skinfold-surface area formula permits estimation of body fat relative to body size Percent fat = skinfolds/3F x k, where 3F is a body size factor. Estimating body fat by use of this formula agrees closely with densitometric assessment of fat in samples of male and female high school and college students, professional football players, and with anthropometric indirect estimates of body fat using skeletal diameters and stature in army aviators and female air force personnel. The surface area formulation was also applied to data on Olympic athletes to determine percent body fat derived from regionally unrelated subcutaneous radiographic widths. Based on the data analysis of the various dissimilar population samples, it is concluded that percent body fat derived from skinfolds incorporated into a surface area formula provides valid size-related estimates of adiposity free from the usual limitations inherent in fat estimates from population specific regression equations.