Fat, bone and lean tissues absorb X-rays and ultrasound to different extents, and therefore either a radiograph or ultrasound image will permit determination of the amounts of different tissues in the body, by measuring the areas (or volumes if scanning imaging techniques are used) occupied by each type of tissue. Such imaging techniques permit determination not only of the total amount of fat in the body, but also of its distribution. As discussed in section 6.2.3, the distribution of body fat is an important factor in the adverse effects of excess adiposity.
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