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Body type

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Body type has several meanings:

  • A description of any kind of human body shape using general body descriptors: slim, fat, tall, petite, wide-shouldered, pear shaped, etc.
  • A system devised by William Sheldon classifying humans into three different body types, (ectomorphic, endomorphic, and mesomorphic) sometimes used in modern weight training and exercise; see somatotype
  • A classification system developed by Elliot Abravanel in the 1970s and 1980s that classifies an individual based on his or her glandular metabolism.

These approach may be seen as drawing conclusions about the relationship between body structure, physiological processes, personality characteristics and health and well being. The value of such holistic approaches to understanding is open to question and is often regarded as pseudoscience


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