Measuring obesity with BAI

I'm not real super interested in obesity or calculations of people's weights, fat levels etc. but I ran across something half interesting that might be of interest to you.

It is a new way to measure obesity or if a person is underweight, normal weight, or overweight -- and it doesn't even use your weight in the calculation!

Murray has blogged about it at New measure of obesity – body adiposity index (BAI)

He also made a calculator for it that compares your "results" as far as BMI and this new index, BAI.

This new index uses your height and a measurement around the hips, and it's still somewhat experimental in the fact that it hasn't been thorougly tested in all races.

The formula is

  hip (cm)
-------------   −  18

The resulting number should be a close estimate to your body fat percentage.

Just for the record, or if you are curious, I am of normal weight, and supposedly have about 29% body fat according to that calculation. Which, 29% body fat sounds high but it seems to be perfectly normal for females. It makes me think of this age-old saying "Human body is 70% water." That just can't be, not for females anyway. I would be 70% water, 29% fat, and 1% all the other stuff...???

Ok, upon checking I find that indeed, the human body is NOT 70% water. Females average 55% water and males 60% water, but obese people may only be 45% water.


Grace said…
I see a real flaw in this in that there are some (many) people that have no hips but are very overweight, and conversely, some very slender or healthy people with large hips. Some of this falls along ethnicity but not necessarily and things get mixed up real fast on that type of profiling, for example, one gene can change a whole town. Add to that the fact that medical experts are saying that the \"bad\" fat in terms of health is more associated with fat accumulation around the middle as opposed to \"below the waist\". As such, I think it\'s important to not further mislead the public and further push the Hollywood stereotype.

I am only interested in this from the perspective of (A) people who have health problems and/or compromised lifestyle from being overweight/obese (it seems like they have just given up or are stuck in a cultural rut) and at the other extreme,(B) people who have bad body images based on media stereotypes. It seems it has to be one extreme or the other, unless, of course, you are an extreme athlete, which might be an extreme smack dab in the middle. Hmm...sounds like a lot of possibility for graphing and trends!

Jarrod said…
This is definitely an interesting article. I had no idea there was an alternative to measuring body fat?! I'm actually going to check my results and compare this formula to the results of my BMI. Thanks for sharing!

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