To calculate a more accurate and reliable percentage of body fat percentage than BMI, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center scientists in Los Angeles, USA analyzed more than three hundred possible formulas based on a comprehensive database that collects information from 12,000 adult subjects , obtained through a health and nutrition study carried out by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With this information, the scientists developed a formula that they called the Relative Fat Mass Index (RFM for the acronym in English); "We wanted to identify a more reliable, simple and economical method to evaluate the percentage of body fat without using advanced equipment," said Orison Woolcott, leader of the study.
Then the experts applied this formula to the calculation of the relative mass of 3,500 people, and compared it with those obtained by a study in patients performed using a high-tech body scanner called DXA, considered one of the most precise for the calculation of organic tissues, bones, muscles and body fat; the results indicated that the calculations with the RFM formula are closer to those of the body scan of the DXA scanner. "Our results confirmed the value of the new formula in a large number of topics," Woolcott said.
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For the calculation of obesity by means of this formula, it is only necessary to determine the measurements of height and waist circumference, which is achieved with the aid of a simple measuring tape; measuring the waist is obtained by placing the measuring tape around the body, just above the hip bone; these measures are then applied according to the formula corresponding to the gender of the patient.
For men: 64 – (20 x height / waist circumference) = RFM
For women: 76 – (20 x height / waist circumference) = RFM
"The advantage of this formula is that you do not need a scale to determine the fat mass, because you only need a measuring tape," Woolcot said; He stressed, however, that it is still necessary to conduct more extensive studies to validate this method. "We still need to test the RFM in longitudinal studies with large populations to determine which range of body fat percentage is considered normal or abnormal in relation to serious health problems associated with obesity," he said.
Richard Bergman, PhD, director of the Center for Research and Welfare Diabetes and obesity at Cedars-Sinai Sports Spectacular, said: "The relative formula of fat mass, validated, is a new index for measuring body fat that can be accessed by health professionals treating patients with obesity. "
This study and its results have been published in Scientific Reports, one of Nature & # 39; s journals.
From the Fundación Torres-Picón we share these data and expert opinions as a contribution to their dissemination, and with a view to increasing the awareness of the serious public health problem that is obesity, and also to the prevention of the epidemic of Global obesity that the World Health Organization has identified and alarmed, says Pedro J. Torres, spokesman and president of the FTP.
GF / EDC