BMI, or body mass index, is one of the fastest and most common methods for health care providers to determine whether a patient falls within a healthy range in terms of body fat percentage. BMI has been used by health care professionals with moderate success for a number of years, but limitations with the formula have spurred researchers in California to come up with an alternative.
Researchers from the University of California’s Keck School of Medicine have developed a new formula for more closely determining body fat percentage by using only height and hip circumference. Nearly 2000 adults were measured using the newly developed formula and researchers found that the new test, BAI, was a better indicator of body fat percentage than BMI.
The problem with BMI, which is calculated with the height and weight, is that it doesn’t give an accurate assessment of percentage of body fat in muscular or athletic individuals. BMI,Medical professionals realize that BMI has limitations but point out that with more extensive research BAI could show similar limitations in lean or heavily muscled individuals.
Researchers will need to perform larger scale studies in order to determine if this new method of analyzing body fat could be considered more universally accurate than BMI. If the initial study results can be repeated, BAI could provide doctors with a new tool to more accurately determine a patient’s overall health and help to quickly determine possible health risks.