- by Nils Osmar. September 29, 2023
- This post is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice.
- See full Medical Disclaimer
- Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
AnthropoAge is an app (found on this website) which purports to estimate our anthropocentric age. All well and good, but – what in the world is anthropocentric age? And how does it relate to our rate of aging and how long we may end up living?
The CDC website states that:
“Anthropometry is the science that defines physical measures of a person’s size, form, and functional capacities. It looks at measurements of our height, weight, waist-, hip-, arm-, calf circumferences, triceps- (TST) and subscapular skinfold thickness (SST), body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio (WHR) and arm muscle circumference (AMC)”
This information is then used by health officials to estimate whether we’re getting enough nutrients in our diet and get an idea of our general health and adiposity, with an eye on determining both how long we may have to live, and our rate of aging. The data can also clarify whether it might be helpful for us to make changes in our lifestyle to improve our odds of living longer.
The AnthropoAge website explains that:
“This app was developed with the aim of providing an interface to facilitate estimation of biological age using AnthropoAge, which is a tool to predict 10-year all-cause mortality. The calculator also estimates aging acceleration using the AnthropoAgeAccel metric, which is interpreted as the number of years on average that an individual’s anthropometric aging rate is above or below its chronological age.”
There’s an easy version (which asks only your age, height, weight, and waist circumference) and a more complete version which asks you to enter the data from a few more measurements.
I tried it out
… and I did find it useful. To get specific, my current metrics, as of 9/29/2023, are:
- Height: 71.5” tall – or 181.6 cm
- Weight: 180 pounds – or 81.6 kg
- Thigh: 53 cm
- Arm: 33 cm
- Waist: 88 cm
When I used only at my height and weight, my “predicted anthropometric age” came out as 65.15 years old. This is 5.55 years younger than my actual age (70.9 years). This suggests that I’m aging more slowly than most people, and is confirmation that my protocol may be working.
More data=more specific results
Adding in the (optional) information about arm and thigh circumference (i.e., giving the app more complete data to work with) slightly alters the result, and my estimated anthropocentric age comes in at 64.67 years old, 6.03 years younger than my actual age.
Playing with possibilities
If, for the purpose of testing the app, I change my waist size to 133 cm (to test how I’d be aging if I were obese), the app tells me that I would be 76.07 “anthropometric” years old, would have accelerated aging, and would likely die about six years sooner rather than six years earlier. (So I’m “buying twelve years… six plus six… by working to keep my body fat low.)
Caveats and limitations
One limitation of the app is that because it starts by already knowing our actual age, it’s unlikely to reflect interventions that are taking two or three decades off of our lives on a cellular level. So the figure it comes up with will always be within a few years of your actual age, even if our cells may be much younger (epigenetically speaking).
Still, it’s good at telling us whether we’re aging faster or slower then the general population. So I find it useful and do recommend it. To me it’s motivating, and a good reminder that, while I’m aging at a slowed rate, I could slow it even more by reducing my belly fat a bit more.
For comparison, PhenoAge estimates my age as 56 (14 years younger than my actual age) and Aging.ai v.3 estimates it at 41 years old (29 years younger). They don’t match (age estimators rarely do), but they do confirm, separately and repeatedly, that my protocol may be working. You can read about my protocol on this page.
Another criticism is that it appears at first glance that “all you need is to build up your biceps to be aging more slowly,” which obviously is not true. But if you play around with it a bit you’ll see that it doesn’t actually say that. Its response to building or shrinking the size of your arms or thighs (while keeping your waist slim) appears to be a U shaped curve. It recognizes that just having massive muscles, in itself, doesn’t de-age you. But it does reflect that having better body composition correlates with a longer life expectancy.
Not medical advice
This article is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. I’m not advising that people eat any particular diet or take any particular supplement(s), just reporting on what I’m doing. Supplements, like medications and other interventions, can have side effects; I would encourage people to research both possible benefits and side effects before starting on any supplementation regimen, and consult with a medical professional about any issues which might have a medical component. See full Medical Disclaimer
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