Somatotype

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One’s body reflects his character—an enduring belief of people in the past and the inhabitants of the present world. In fifth century B. C. Hippocrates, the Greek physician categorized men into two physical types, phthisic habitus which is long and thin and apoplectic habitus, the short and thick. He suggested that men with the phthisic physique are particularity vulnerable to tuberculosis while apoplectics are proned to diseases of the vascular system; his classification was based on the disease men can acquired. In William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, he described Cassius as "lean and hungry” and Falstaff as “indolent and gluttonous”; his description showed that men can be categorized according to their calorie intake. And in 1940s, Dr. William H. Sheldon introduced the theory of somatotypes. He named his somatotypes after the three germ layers of embryonic development: the endoderm, that develops into the digestive tract, the mesoderm, marked by a well-developed musculature, and the ectoderm which is centered in the nervous system. In the book Atlas of Men (1954), Sheldon classified the body types of 4,000 college male students of Ivy League according to a scale ranging from 1 to 7. Endomorph is 7-1-1, the mesomorph 1-7-1 and ectomorph scores 1-1-7. This classification became the foundation of psychologists in determining one’s personality. Another theory made by a German psychiatrist Ernst Kretschmer affirmed that each type of body has its mental characteristics. He allocated three morphological types in its corresponding temperaments. basic types- aesthenic, picnic, athletic.

Aesthenic is the counterpart of Sheldon’s ectomorph which described as long and thin. It has shiztotimik temperament which indicates fluctuations in emotions, stubborn and difficulty in adapting to the environment. Picnic, equivalent to Sheldon’s endomorph, a man with disproportionate adipose tissue and characterized by small or medium growth. Picnic figure has...
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