Body mass index (BMI) is an important diagnostic tool for determining obesity; however, while BMI reflects the influence of body height over body weight, it does not reveal body fat percentage (BF%). We explored whether BF% correlated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome and whether metabolically obese, normal weight people were at risk for these diseases. A total of 2,867 healthy volunteers participated in this study. Blood pressure, height, weight, waist circumference, BMI, BF%, lipid profile, fasting glucose, uric acid, and lifestyle factors were collected from healthy subjects during their annual health examinations. In both males and females, BF% correlated positively with BMI and waist circumference. Participants were divided into three groups according to BF% and data were compared between groups. The results suggest that BF% correlates with risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome for both men and women, and that BF% may be a useful predictor of risk, particularly in metabolically obese, normal weight individuals. © 2012 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.