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Dublin: 10°C Friday 14 May 2021

Bye, bye BMI...

…hello BVI? UK researchers believe they have found a more accurate way to identify obesity called the ‘Body Volume Index’.

The Body Volume Index scanner in action.
The Body Volume Index scanner in action.
Image: Barney Newman/PA Archive/Press Association Images

MEDICAL RESEARCHERS BASED in the UK believe they have developed a more accurate way to identify obesity than the BMI index currently used.

The Birmingham-based team has been working with a special scanner to determine a person’s Body Volume Index.

Dr Asad Rahim told the BBC that his team’s research with the scanner has helped to identify people at increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The scanner uses white light technology and creates a 3D map of a person’s body which identifies excess fat.

The BMI (Body Mass Index) is calculated based on a person’s height and weight. Muscle is heavier than fat, which leads to inaccurate results for people with higher muscle volume.

NPR reported last summer than the BMI was not devised to identify an individual’s level of obesity or fatness.

But some doctors may still favour a simpler approach to identifying obesity.

After watching a report on the new body scanners, the GP on BBC’s Breakfast programme, Dr Rosemary, said doctors don’t need machines to see who is overweight. She said she prefers taking a simple waist measurement, which she thinks is just as good.

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