Explaining ABSI

A person’s body shape index is a better predictor of mortality than the traditional body mass index test, researchers have said. According to research published in the online jounal PLoS ONE, a person’s ABSI is better at predicting a person’s risk of dying than their BMI, the current method used to quantify the risks associated with obesity.

Explaining what ABSI is, researchers at the City College of New York said last year: “Unlike BMI, the calculation of ABSI includes waist circumference; another measurement used to estimate body fat. The additional variable helps account for the increased hazard faced by people who carry most of their fat around the middle – those with the so-called ‘apple’ body shape.” Current criticism of the BMI system of establishing obesity risk is that it does not distinguish between muscle and fat mass, so cannot tell if you have too much fat. The researchers showed that as ABSI increases, so too does the mortality risk from obesity.

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