A new measurement that takes into account waist circumference in addition to traditional Body Mass Index (BMI) data provides information about the risk of premature death for an individual. Known as A Body Shape Index (ABSI), the metric was tested on national health and nutrition data from 14,000 adults in the United States and found to show a better correlation with death rate than does the BMI.

“Measuring body dimensions is straightforward compared to other most medical tests, but it's been challenging to link these with health,” Nir Krakauer, a researcher at City College of New York, who led the study published in PLoS ONE, said in a press release. “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.”

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