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A new way to measure obesity: The ABSI (A Body Shape Index) Index

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The BMI (Body Mass Index) Index has long been used to help to determine obesity. It's calculation takes into account your height and your weight. The ABSI also takes into account your age and your waist circumference.

Some people believe that the ABSI is a more accurate predictor of earlier motrtality or high death rates because it takes into consideration where we carry our weight. And that's key, because numerous studies indicate that excess belly fat, or being "apple shaped", is more risky for your health than being bottom heavy, or pear shaped.

I entered the following numbers for me:
Age: 50 years
Gender: Female
Height: 63 inches
Weight: 120 lbs
Waist Circumference: 34"

Here are my results:
ABSI index: 0.088
Average ABSI for a 50 years old female: 0.079
BMI: 21

Their informaiton indicates that the closer your index is to the average, the better the figure you have. The results also picture a "spectrum", with green color in the center, and red on the outsides. It also indicates, in the green area, areas of "minimal risk" and "population average". They indicate that the more your values move toward the red spectrum, the more you need to change your diet.

On my spectrum picture, I was not very close to the "minimal risk" section, and, even not very close to the "population average", both of which are in the green range. I am somewhat on the line between green and red. (I tried to find a way to copy the photo, so I could post it here, but I was not successful.)

I also plugged in my number from 2+ years ago, prior to losing weight.

My results, then, would've been:
ABSI index: 0.091
Average ABSI for a 48 years old female: 0.079
BMI: 31

Even though my BMI was significantly different after losing weight, there is very little change in my ABSI. I have always said that, in order to reduce my risk of cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes, I need to reduce my waist size.

There are various ABSI calculators available online. This one seemed the easiest for me to "read", in terms of what the results meant:

~ Faith
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I just read this blog. Thanks for the info. I checked the site and I'm at average right now.
    1981 days ago
    Even with my goal info I am still in the middle of average and minimal!! Thanks for a new way of checking my progress.
    2015 days ago
    Cool! I'm also smack-dab between minimal and average.
    2016 days ago
    interesting. still uses the same basic assumptions as BMI, but does take more lifestyle things into consideration.
    2016 days ago
    Cool, I'm between minimal risk and average.
    2016 days ago
    Sorry to hear your numbers didn't much despite weight loss. I do understand that to change the numbers you'll need more muscle in relation to fat, which will decrease the belly size.

    I would have liked to write a better answer but I am way late getting things done. Talk to ya later.

    Wish you the best.
    2016 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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