A method and apparatus for determining characteristics of tissue is disclosed. The method comprises supplying optical energy to a tissue and detecting at a plurality of locations consequent energy scattered by the tissue. Analysis of the scattered energy as taught herein provides information concerning the properties of the tissue, specifically information related to the fat and lean content and thickness of the tissue. The apparatus comprises a light source adapted to deliver optical energy to a tissue. A plurality of detectors can be mounted at different positions relative to the source to detect energy scattered by the tissue. A signal processor as taught herein can determine characteristics of the tissue from the signals from the detectors and locations of the detectors, specifically information related to the fat and lean content and thickness of the tissue.