Belly FatSince the mid-1800’s, calculating Body Mass Index (BMI) has been the standard for determining one’s level of obesity or underweightness and risk level associated with these conditions.  It essentially estimates whether or not your weight is appropriate for your height.  The shortcoming of using BMI as a measurement is that it does not take into consideration your actual fat versus muscle content.  So, a very large, muscular athlete may be classified as overweight on the BMI rating scale even if his actual body fat is in an acceptable range.

In 2000, international researchers devised a new 3D method of measuring where one’s weight is distributed.  It is able to determine the amount of fat a person has in different parts of the body.  This Body Volume Indicator (BVI) was originally developed to measure body circumferences for retail clothing fit, but the researchers believed that it could also be useful in determining fat levels and fat distribution for health-related reasons.  Therefore, in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, a ten-year study was initiated and by 2016, over 400,000 men, women, and children were measured using the BVI method.  The data gathered provided researchers with important information; information that is particularly valuable given the evidence linking greater abdominal obesity levels to greater health risks.

In April 2017, the potential benefits of using Body Volume as a new indicator of risks were presented by Mayo Clinic researchers, BVI America, and the University of Westminster.  Indicators point to the fact that it may be time to move away from cruder ways of determining one’s level of and risk for obesity and move toward newer means that provide us with a better understanding of the human body.  Ask your health care provider about BVI today!

Resources:

  1. Entis, Laura.  Fortune Magazine (May 1, 2017)
  2. www.bodyvolume.com (2017)
  3. Brodwin, Erin.  Business Insider (May 1, 2017)