Relationships between body roundness with body fat and visceral adipose tissue emerging from a new geometrical model

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Nov;21(11):2264-71. doi: 10.1002/oby.20408. Epub 2013 Jun 11.


Objective: To develop a new geometrical index that combines height, waist circumference (WC), and hip circumference (HC) and relate this index to total and visceral body fat.

Design and methods: Subject data were pooled from three databases that contained demographic, anthropometric, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measured fat mass, and magnetic resonance imaging measured visceral adipose tissue (VAT) volume. Two elliptical models of the human body were developed. Body roundness was calculated from the model using a well-established constant arising from the theory. Regression models based on eccentricity and other variables were used to predict %body fat and %VAT.

Results: A body roundness index (BRI) was derived to quantify the individual body shape in a height-independent manner. Body roundness slightly improved predictions of %body fat and %VAT compared to the traditional metrics of body mass index (BMI), WC, or HC. On this basis, healthy body roundness ranges were established. An automated graphical program simulating study results was placed at

Conclusion: BRI, a new shape measure, is a predictor of %body fat and %VAT and can be applied as a visual tool for health status evaluations.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Adiposity
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Weights and Measures / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological*
  • Somatotypes / physiology*
  • Waist Circumference
  • Young Adult