A new metric to measure obesity has been developed by researchers.
The new index is called A Body Shape Index, or ABSI and combines the existing metrics of Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference and shows a better correlation with death rate than either of these individual measures do.
The researchers led by Nir Krakauer of City College of New York analyzed data from over 14,000 US adults taken as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
They concluded that the new measure, which has little correlation with height, weight, or BMI, appears to be a substantial risk factor for premature death.
"Measuring body dimensions is straightforward compared to other most medical tests, but it's been challenging to link these with health," Krakauer said.
"Our results give evidence that the power-law scaling of waist circumference, weight, and other body measurements can be used to develop body shape indices that point to added risk," he added.
The full results have been reported in the open access journal PLoS ONE.