For many years’ scientist have searched for a simple formula to determine who’s healthy and who’s not. They came up with the body mass index (BMI) which compares weight with height but doesn’t take into account lean muscle mass or bone density. Also, this measure doesn’t indicate where your carry weight which is a factor in determining your overall weight. Then, the doctors began to embrace waist circumference (WC) which measures dangerous fat that settles around the belly. But, this measure is not reliable because it fails to include height in the equation. For example, a five-eight feet tall woman with a 35-inch waist may be profiled differently in terms of health from a five-two feet woman with the same girth. Due to the rapid increase in the chronic diseases associated with obesity, the research community has come up with a better metric called A Body Shape Index (ABSI).
What’s ABSI Index
A Body Shape Index is a metric for assessing the health implications of a given human body taking into account waist circumference, mass and height. This measure provides more accurate information about the risk of premature deaths and health complications. Additionally, researchers say that ABSI is more accurate in evaluating your health than BMI.
Furthermore, ABSI is more sensitive to some body’s composition aspects such as having a greater proportion of abdominal fat and having relatively little muscle mass in the limbs. In one study, the higher mortality risk linked with high ABSI was greater than that associated with body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference (WC) alone. This means that we are closer to having a simple formula that tells us about our health risks due to our body shape and composition. You should check your ABSI to ensure it is below average since people with above average ABSI have a higher risk of health problems compared to those below average.
It takes fat distribution into account
When it comes to health risk, fat distribution is a major concern and ABSI doesn’t assume fat is fat. There is a subcutaneous fat type that lies under your skin which is not dangerous for your health. Another type of fat is the visceral fat which is known to cause negative effects on your health. Visceral fat is distributed around your belly area. This fat has health risks such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and increased mortality. Body shape index is able to deter these fats helping you to deal with this health issue early.
ABSI overcomes shortcomings of WC
Waist circumference is a better indicator of mortality than BMI according to several studies. However, WC on its own is not a precise measure. This measure doesn’t take into consideration people of different heights. Height is crucial because as you get taller, your waist circumference becomes greater. In addition to that, WC doesn’t involve muscle mass in the determination of mortality making it ineffective since changes in muscle mass can also modify one’s WC. Therefore, ABSI overcomes these errors because it uses both WC and BMI making it more accurate.
ABSI takes into account sex and age
Sex and age are an important demographic factor when it comes to the body shape and the risk of mortality. Not differentiating between a man and a woman is a big issue because the two genders have different body structures and physiques. Men’s muscle mass is dense compared to that of women. ABSI has control over these factors making it a better predictor.
It differentiates between muscle and fat
If you take the same size portion of muscle and fat next to each other, muscle weighs more than fat. According to BMI, muscle and fat are the same which is incorrect. In one study, a higher body fat percentage increases the likelihood of mortality while greater lean mass percentage decreases this risk. ABSI clearly indicates the difference between body fat and muscle mass.
ABSI has proven its ability to provide more accurate and reliable data on body fat that can help individuals and their doctors to come up with lifestyle changes that can control body fat. Even though your ABSI is high, don’t worry. You can lower you ABSI by cutting on your waist size through diet and exercise.
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