Why You Should Not Calculate Your Bmi But Your Absi


ABSI or “A Body Shape Index” is a new method to determine if someone is overweight. Unlike BMI (Body Mass Index), ABSI also includes your body shape in the calculation.


Recent research has shown that your body shape can predict the risk of obesity death better than traditional BMI. You calculate the BMI by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. The value obtained tells whether you are underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.

However, the BMI method does not distinguish between muscle and fat mass, while a high-fat percentage increases the risk of premature death, and a large muscle mass just lowers this risk. Furthermore, the method only determines how your mass (in kilos) relates to your height (in meters). So you can have a high BMI, but be perfectly healthy or vice versa.

The calculation of ABSI, on the other hand, also includes waist circumference, an additional factor to quantify a person’s amount of body fat. Mind you, the method is aimed at people who carry most of their fat around the center of their body, people with the so-called ‘apple shape’.

A good indicator

ABSI, therefore, provides more information about your health than BMI. By also taking into account the waist fat, the most dangerous fat, your ABSI indicates how high your risk of premature death really is: the higher the number, the greater your risk of a disease related to obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, gallstones, cardiovascular disease, back, and joint complaints and certain types of cancer.

How do you calculate your ABSI?

You calculate your ABSI using the following formula:

ABSI = WC/ (BMI2/3 * height1/2)

  • WC – the waist circumference, expressed in m;
  • height – expressed in m;
  • BMI – expressed in kg/m².

There are also online calculation tools to make the calculation.Fill out the form and your ABSI will then be calculated automatically.

What do the results say?

If the result of your calculation is 1, you run an average risk of diseases related to obesity. With every tenth point lower or higher, you have ten percent less or more risk, respectively.

After extensive research on 14,000 Americans, it was found that the people with the highest ABSI score were twice as likely to die as those with the lowest score. Even if these individuals had a normal BMI score, they were at a higher risk of premature death.

Fortunately, you can also bring down your ABSI score – and waist circumference – by paying attention to your diet and exercising. If you really want to tackle this problem, it is best to ask a professional for advice.

Betsy Wilson

A true science nerd and pediatric nursing specialist, Betsy is passionate about all things pregnancy and baby-related. She contributes her expertise to the Scientific Origin.