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Body adiposity index

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Title: Body adiposity index  
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Subject: Body shape, Human weight, Waist-to-height ratio, Corpulence index, Obesity
Collection: Body Shape, Human Weight, Obesity
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Body adiposity index

The body adiposity index (BAI) is a method of measuring the amount of body fat in humans. The BAI is calculated without using body weight, unlike the body mass index (BMI). Instead, it uses the size of the hips compared to the person's height.

Based on population studies, the BAI is approximately equal to the percentage of body fat for adult men and women of differing ethnicities.[1]


  • Formula 1
  • Uses 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The BAI is calculated as:[2]

\frac{100 \times \text{hip circumference in m}}{\text{height in m} \times \sqrt{\text{height}}} - 18

Hip circumference (R = 0.602) and height (R = −0.524) are strongly correlated with percentage of body fat. Comparing BAI with "gold standard" dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) results, the correlation between DXA-derived percentage of adiposity and the BAI in a target population was R = 0.85, with a concordance of C_b = 0.95.[3]


The BAI could be a good tool to measure adiposity due, at least in part, to the advantages over other more complex mechanical or electrical systems. Probably, the most important advantage of BAI over BMI is that weight is not needed. However, in general it seems that the BAI does not overcome the limitations of BMI.[4]

Stated advantages of the BAI are that it approximates body fat percentage, while the widely used BMI is known to be of limited accuracy, and is different for males and females with similar percentage body adiposity; and that it does not involve weighing, so can be used in remote locations with limited access to scales. A detailed study published in 2012 concluded that estimates of body fat percentage based on BAI were not more accurate than those based on BMI, waist circumference, or hip circumference.[5]

The adiposity indexes that include the waist circumference (WHtR and WC) may be better candidates than BAI and BMI to evaluate metabolic and cardiovascular risk in both clinical practice and research.[6]


  1. ^ "A Better Index of Body Adiposity". Obesity - A Research Journal. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  2. ^ New Method of Calculating Body Fat Unlikely to Replace BMI
  3. ^ Is the new BAI better than the old BMI?
  4. ^ López AA, Cespedes ML, Vicente T, Tomas M, Bennasar-Veny M, et al. (2012) Body Adiposity Index Utilization in a Spanish Mediterranean Population: Comparison with the Body Mass Index. PLoS ONE 7(4): e35281
  5. ^ , Freedman DS, Thornton J, Pi-Sunyer FX, Heymsfield SB, Wang J, Pierson Jr RN, Blanck HM, Gallagher D, Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Apr 9. doi: 10.1038/oby.2012.81The body adiposity index (hip circumference ÷ height(1.5)) is not a more accurate measure of adiposity than is BMI, waist circumference, or hip circumference
  6. ^ Bennasar-Veny M, Lopez-Gonzalez AA, Tauler P, Cespedes ML, Vicente-Herrero T, et al. (2013) Body Adiposity Index and Cardiovascular Health Risk Factors in Caucasians: A Comparison with the Body Mass Index and Others. PLoS ONE 8(5): e63999

External links

  • Online BAI calculator. One of many. Also classification, from underweight to obese, for men and women of different ages.
  • New obesity index proposed, but further work needed (
  • Better than a BMI? New obesity scale proposed (Ottawa Citizen, originally Reuters)
  • Body Adiposity Index Utilization in a Spanish Mediterranean Population: Comparison with the Body Mass Index.
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