Body Adiposity Index (BAI)

The body adiposity index (BAI) is a method of measuring the amount of body fat (Bergman et al. 2011). The BAI is unique compared to other methods for measuring ideal weight as it is calculated without using a measure of body weight. Instead, it uses the size of the hips compared to the person's height. It is also interesting that the resultant index value can be equated to the actual percent body fat.

The BAI is presented as an alternative to the Body Mass Index, which is a more common simple calculation of body fatness, but has been criticized for not being accurate for all body types. Although BAI is useful as no weight measurement is required, it has been found to be no better at estimating body adiposity (Freedman et al. 2012). There is also the simple measure waist to height using similar measurements.

equipment required: tape measure and stadiometer.

procedure: BAI is calculated from measurements of hip circumference (HC) and height (Ht), using the following equation (hips measured in centimeters, height in meters):

Adiposity Index = HC / (Ht 1.5 - 18)

scoring: The higher the score indicates higher levels of body fat. The calculated BAI value is approximately equal to the percentage of body fat.

advantages: a simple calculation from standard anthropometrical measurements, without the need for a weight measurement.

other comments: Other simple measures of body composition, such as skinfolds measurement, would be preferable if available.

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