This cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the association of high body fat per cent measured by bioelectric impedance analysis with known risk factors of obesity as well as with serum levels of vitamins, trace elements and magnesium and oxidative stress in an urban population in India. There were 850 men aged 25-64 years, randomly selected from the city of Moradabad. Subjects were divided into high body fat per cent (n = 357), over fat per cent (n = 230), desirable fat (n = 200) and low fat (n = 63) based on criteria of body fat per cent analysis. The prevalence of central obesity, sedentary lifestyle, family history and higher visible fat intake showed significant association with higher over fat per cent. Postprandial plasma insulin and glucose and serum iron and oxidative stress were significantly higher and plasma levels of vitamin C and E and serum zinc/insulin ratio as well as serum magnesium/insulin ratio showed inverse association with high body fat per cent. Multivariate logistic regression analysis after adjustment of age showed a significant positive association of body mass index (odds ratio 0.97), sedentary lifestyle (odds ratio 1.12) and serum iron (OR 1.00) with higher body fat per cent. Zinc (OR 1.03), magnesium (OR 1.02), vitamins C (OR 1.08 and E (OR 1.09) deficiency were risk factors of higher body per cent and central obesity. It is possible that some Indian men can benefit by increased intake of zinc, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin E in conjunction with lifestyle changes.