Time to Replace the BMI

May 6th, 2011 by MorganDowney Leave a reply »

Elsewhere we have described the serious limitations of the Body Mass Index (BMI). Intended and still useful as a population measure of obesity, it has over recent years been used  (and I would say mis-used by the Food and Drug Administration)  for clinical decision-making. (Walter Poires has also called for a new standard for bariatric surgery Beyond the BMI: the search for better guidelines f… [Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010] – PubMed result  Now Rich Bergman and colleagues have proposed a alternative which does not require weighing at all but takes measurements of hip circumference and height. Interestingly (and unique for the obesity field) the measure has been validated in non-white populations but not yet in Caucasians. See A better index of body adiposity. [Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011] – PubMed result. Whether or not this particular measure, called the Body Adiposity Index (BAI), is the last word or not, it is time for the research community to find a better tool to identify excess adiposity. This tool, which can be used in remote parts of the world where only a tape measure is needed is a big step in the right direction.