Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A New Way to Measure How Fat you Are

According to this news story, there's a new way to measure how fat you are.   Body Mass Index (BMI), has been used for a couple of centuries to determine if someone is overweight or obese.

The problem with BMI, however, is that its really not all that accurate.   For muscular people, such as athletes, BMI is unreliable because it only takes into account height and weight.   Muscle weighs more than fat, so a muscular athlete who is the same height and weight as a fat couch potato would have the same BMI.

The new measurement, Body Adiposity Index (BAI) takes into account hip measurement in addition to height and weight.   This additional measurement makes the BAI slightly more accurate in deteriming body fat on a person then BMI.   It helps to differentiate between excess flab and muscular abs. 

You can calculate both your BMI and BAI here.   I did the  calculations, and my BMI is 24.1 which is on the high side of normal, and my BAI is 29.6 which is smack dab in the middle of the healthy range.  

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