Currently, if healthcare practitioners are trying to determine how overweight a patient is, they use the Body Mass Index, or BMI.
Invented in the mid-1800s, the BMI is an international standard formula for establishing ideal body weight which involves dividing a person’s weight by the square of their height. The resulting number is then compared to those on a chart, which fall into the categories of Underweight, Normal, Overweight, Obese and Morbidly Obese. A group of international researchers, however, are proposing that the BMI be replaced with a more detailed system, the Body Volume Index, or BVI. Using a 3D white-light scanner, the BVI identifies where the fat is distributed on a patient’s body, and how that compares to what’s normal.
After ten years of development, the BVI was officially launched earlier this month.
The system was designed by Select Research in Birmingham, England. Over 2,000 test subjects were scanned at collaborating research institutes in the UK, Europe and the U.S., to establish norms for fat deposition in various parts of the body – these norms allowed for age, gender, body shape and body composition.