In 2008 the National Center for Health Statistics released a dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) whole body dataset from the NHANES population-based sample acquired with modern fan beam scanners in 15 counties across the United States from 1999 through 2004. The NHANES dataset was partitioned by gender and ethnicity and DXA whole body measures of %fat, fat mass/height(2), lean mass/height(2), appendicular lean mass/height(2), %fat trunk/%fat legs ratio, trunk/limb fat mass ratio of fat, bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) were analyzed to provide reference values for subjects 8 to 85 years old. DXA reference values for adults were normalized to age; reference values for children included total and sub-total whole body results and were normalized to age, height, or lean mass. We developed an obesity classification scheme by using estabbody mass index (BMI) classification thresholds and prevalences in young adults to generate matching classification thresholds for Fat Mass Index (FMI; fat mass/height(2)). These reference values should be helpful in the evaluation of a variety of adult and childhood abnormalities involving fat, lean, and bone, for establishing entry criteria into clinical trials, and for other medical, research, and epidemiological uses.