The pictures of body types to the right depict the three common body types: endomorphs, mesomorphs, and ectomorphs. The three body types were developed in the 1940s by American psychologist William Sheldon. Not all people fit neatly into one category or another, and Sheldon realized this. He scored people on a range of 1-7 for each body type. So a pure endomorph would be a 7-1-1. If you’re somewhere in between a mesomorph and an ectomorph, you might be a 1-3-4, and so forth.
Sheldon believed an individual’s mental characteristics could be predicted based on how they were rated via these three “somatotypes”. Modern psychologists have since dismissed Sheldon’s theories of there being a connection between body type and mental characteristics as rubbish. However, there are cultural stereotypes which hold true regarding the body types: endomorphs are perceived as being slow and lazy while mesomorphs are believed to be popular and hard-working. Ectomorphs bring about mixed stereotypes in others who perceive them to be both intelligent but also timid.
Endomorphs: The naturally big boned person characterised with a round face, a soft and flabby body in general, wide hips, bigger waist, slow metabolism and high number of fat cells. They may have a predisposition to storing fat and often seem to be in a never-ending struggle to lose weight.
An endomorph can generally benefit from increasing their daily activity level through exercise and seeking out a high-protein diet while avoiding sugar and starchy-snacks. They should rely on lower calorie foods that can be used in the body quickly. They may do better keeping complex carb foods in smaller portions and avoid them late at night. The typical diet should derive its calories roughly 30% from protein, 60% from carbs & 10% from fats.
Mesomorphs: The naturally muscular person with wide shoulders, small waist, athletic build, low body fat percentage with a high metabolism. Mesomorphs were often found participating in athletics in their youth and have a perception for being “naturally strong”. A common pitfall of understanding Sheldon’s somatotypes is to view them as static realities of a person’s physical structure. In other words, a mesomorph will not automatically remain one for life; they can begin to resemble an endomorph through poor diet and inactivity. Conversely, an endomorph could transform themselves to a mesomorph through proper diet and exercise.
Ectomorphs: These are the people most of the visitors of this site probably hate: the skinny person with a linear appearance, small muscles, ultra fast metabolism, low body fat, narrow shoulders, hips and waist. Ectomorphs could generally stand to gain weight by entering into a weight-training regimen. Your friend who is always complaining about how they can’t gain any weight no matter how hard they try? Yup, certifiable ectomorph.
The dirty secret these people is that they can gain weight, they just don’t know how to go about it properly. By combining a high-calorie, high-protein diet (weight-gainer supplement shakes are a wise addition) with a weight-training program, gaining muscle mass is an inevitability for an ectomorph. It’s simple biology. Consume more calories than you exert and you will gain weight. People with a high metabolism just need to force themselves to consume a lot of calories to outpace their speedy bodily processes.
Sheldon’s Influence on Environmental Criminology
Sheldon holds an influence in the world of criminology by suggesting that the more mesomorphic a person is, the more they will tend towards committing crimes. His belief was that the temperament of ectomorphs was solitary while endomorphs were lazy and hedonistic. Mesomorphs, however, possess an energetic sense of adventure which lends itself towards testing the limits of social law.
Recent studies have supported that a small association exists in Sheldon’s claims. In studies, the most seriously delinquent criminals have possessed a higher rating of mesomorphy than an average person. It is unknown exactly why this is the case. It could be that mesomorphs possess higher levels of testosterone which lend them towards being more aggressive. The explanation may also lie out of their hands. Such as perhaps people and the court system respond to them in ways that tend to increase the likelihood they will be labeled as criminals.