Researchers have developed a new metric to measure obesity, called A Body Shape Index, or ABSI, that combines the existing metrics of Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference and shows a better correlation with death rate than do either of these individual measures. The full results are reported July 18 in the open access journal PLoS ONE, and the work was led by Nir Krakauer of City College of New York.
The authors analyzed data from over 14,000 US adults taken as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and conclude that the new measure, which has little correlation with height, weight, or BMI, appears to be a substantial risk factor for premature death.
"Measuring body dimensions is straightforward compared to other most medical tests, but it's been challenging to link these with health," Krakauer comments. "Our results give evidence that the power-law scaling of waist circumference, weight, and other body measurements can be used to develop body shape indices that point to added risk."
Citation: Krakauer NY, Krakauer JC (2012) A New Body Shape Index Predicts Mortality Hazard Independently of Body Mass Index. PLoS ONE 7(7): e39504.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039504
Financial Disclosure: The authors have no funding or support to report.
Competing Interest Statement: JCK is employed by commercial company ''Middletown Medical''. This does not alter the authors' adherence to all the PLoS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.
PLEASE LINK TO THE SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT (URL goes live after the embargo ends): http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0039504
Disclaimer: This press release refers to upcoming articles in PLoS ONE. The releases have been provided by the article authors and/or journal staff. Any opinions expressed in these are the personal views of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLoS. PLoS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the release and article and your use of such information.
About PLoS ONE
PLoS ONE is the first journal of primary research from all areas of science to employ a combination of peer review and post-publication rating and commenting, to maximize the impact of every report it publishes. PLoS ONE is published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), the open-access publisher whose goal is to make the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource.
All works published in PLoS ONE are Open Access. Everything is immediately available—to read, download, redistribute, include in databases and otherwise use—without cost to anyone, anywhere, subject only to the condition that the original authors and source are properly attributed. For more information about PLoS ONE relevant to journalists, bloggers and press officers, including details of our press release process and our embargo policy, see the everyONE blog at http://everyone.plos.org/media.