Stop worrying about your BMI, try the ABSI instead

Stop worrying about your BMI, try the ABSI instead

BMI (Body Mass Index) has long been the standard at which a doctor would evaluate whether you need to lose a few pounds or not.

However, the act of dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared has its issues.

For instance those with a high muscle mass may weigh more than those that carry a lot of fat so will be classed as overweight or even obese, even though their health and fitness levels are high.

Did you know that in peak physical condition Jonny Wilkinson, the English World Cup rugby winner was classed as overweight?

Now there seems to be a better way of deciding whether you need to make changes to your diet.

What is the ABSI?

The ABSI or A Body Shape Index is an alternative to the traditional BMI, which was developed 2 years ago by researchers at the City College of New York.

Although both systems use similar formulas the ABSI also adds waist circumference to the equation.

Fat that is stored along the waist is known as visceral fat, which is considered to be one of the causes of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, so it makes sense to use this measurement too.

Using computer software your chances of dying from a weight related issue can then be calculated.

Are there any other ways of measuring?

Another way of measuring your health is the Body Adiposity Index or BAI, which was developed at the University of Southern California back in 2011.

BAI uses a formula where your height is divided by your hip circumference, which will roughly calculate your body fat percentage.

Scoring less than 23 indicates healthy body fat levels, with percentages between 23 and 29 considered overweight. Anything over 29 is considered obese.

Does a big belly indicate health problems?

Although the BMI and other measurement formulas can give you a rough idea of your health. One of the ways you know things need to change is if your waist circumference is too large.

Men should start to worry about their health and increased risks of suffering numerous health conditions if their waist circumference is larger than 90 cm (35 inches), while women should try to keep their waist circumference below 80 cm (31.5 inches).

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