Biology around android/gynoid distribution

On a DEXA scan you will see that it calculates the android gynoid ratio. Android is described as fat distribution around the mid-section, so around the waist (belly button). Gynoid is the fat distribution around the hips, this region is situated around the top of the thighs.  Where you store fat can help determine what type of shape you are and if you are more at risk of an increased visceral fat.

If you store more fat around the android region (waist) this is considered apple shape. An android/gynoid ratio greater than 1 would determine this and you may be at more risk of having a high visceral fat (fat around the organs). If your A/G ratio is less than 1 you can see more fat is stored round the hips. Typically females ≤0.8 and males = 1. When a male’s body fat % drops to some of the lower ranges it is common for the last bit of fat to be stored around the gynoid area. This ratio can be tracked over time to see if fat is predominately lost around one area or both. Where you store/distribute your fat can also be passed down via genetics, this is why it might be difficult to spot train certain areas.

The biology!

Android fat cells are predominately visceral, they are large fat cells deposited under the skin and are highly metabolic active. The hormones they secrete have direct access to the liver, you may have heard of the term “fatty liver”. In men testosterone circulation causes fat cells to deposit around the abdominal and gluteofemoral region. In women oestrogen circulation causes fat to deposit around the thighs, breasts and buttocks. Gynoid fat develops after puberty, women need this fat to support a potential infant. Post-menopausal women tend to have lower levels of oestrogen and progesterone, this means they might distribute more fat mass around the android region (Kirchengast et al., 1997). Measuring oestrogen to testosterone ratio can reveal gynoid to android fat distribution. In males a low testosterone to oestrogen ratio means you are at more risk of increased visceral fat gain (Tsai et al., 2000). In females, a high testosterone to oestrogen ratio means you are at more risk of increased visceral fat gain.



Kirchengast, S., Gruber, D., Sator, M., Hartmann, B., Knogler, W., & Huber, J. (1997). Menopause-associated differences in female fat patterning estimated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Annals of human biology24(1), 45-54.

Tsai, E. C., Boyko, E. J., Leonetti, D. L., & Fujimoto, W. Y. (2000). Low serum testosterone level as a predictor of increased visceral fat in Japanese-American men. International journal of obesity24(4), 485.