The interrelationships among fatness measures, plasma triglycerides and high density lipoproteins (HDL) were examined in 131 normal adult subjects: 38 men aged 27-46, 40 men aged 47-66, 29 women aged 27-46 and 24 women aged 47-66. None of the women were taking estrogens or oral contraceptive medication. The HDL concentration was subdivided into HDL2b, HDL2a and HDL3 by a computerized fitting of the total schlieren pattern to reference schlieren patterns. Anthropometric measures employed included skinfolds at 3 sites. 2 weight/height indices and 2 girth measurements. A high correlation was found among the various fatness measures. These measures were negatively correlated with total HDL, reflecting the negative correlation between fatness measures and HDL2 (as the sum of HDL2a and 2b). Fatness measures showed no relationship to HDL3. There was also an inverse correlation between triglyceride concentration and HDL2. No particular fatness measure was better than any other for demonstrating the inverse correlation with HDL but multiple correlations using all of the measures of obesity improved the correlations. Partial correlations controlling for fatness did not reduce any of the significant correlations between triglycerides and HDL2 to insignificance. The weak correlation between fatness and triglycerides was reduced to insignificance when controlled for HDL2.