Body volume index

Body volume index

The Body Volume Index (BVI) has been proposed as an alternative to Body Mass Index (BMI).

Whereas BMI is based on measurement of total mass, irrespective of the location of the mass, BVI looks at the relationship between mass and volume distribution (i.e. where the body mass is located). Recent studies have highlighted the limitations of BMI as an indicator of individual health risk. [A. Romero-Corral, V. K. Somers, J. Sierra-Johnson, R. J. Thomas, M. L. Collazo-Clavell, J. Korinek, T. G. Allison, J. A. Batsis, F. H. Sert-Kuniyoshi & F. Lopez-Jimenez (June 2008). "Accuracy of body mass index in diagnosing obesity in the adult general population". International Journal of Obesity 32 (6): 959–956. doi:10.1038/ijo.2008.11. PMID 18283284.] [ ["Association of bodyweight with total mortality and with cardiovascular events in coronary artery disease: a systematic review of cohort studies."] . Lancet (2006-08-19;368(9536):666-78). Retrieved on 2008-09-08]

BVI as an application for body shape and obesity measurement

The Body Volume Index was devised in 2000 as a computer based measurement of the human body for obesity and an alternative to the Body Mass Index (BMI)

It is an application that can be used on any 3D Body Scanner, whether the scanning hardware uses visible light optical information or otherwise to determine individual health risk. BVI can differentiate between people who have the same BMI rating, but who have a different shape and different weight distribution.BVI is currently undergoing clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe as part of a two year collaborative project, The Body Benchmark Study []

Whereas the BMI of a person is measured manually by total weight and height, BVI is calculated by using 3D body data to determine volume or weight distribution. BVI measures where the weight and the fat are located on the body rather than total weight or total fat content. There has been an increasing acceptance in recent years that abdominal fat and weight around the abdomen constitute a greater health risk. [ Craver, R.(10 September 2008) [ "Location, not volume, of fat found to be key"] Retrieved on 2008-10-09] A body surface scanner determines the three-dimensional outline of a person's exterior surface, so that computation can be used to calculate the part volumes and the part body composition of that person. BVI makes an inference as to the body's distribution of fat and weight using complex and detailed Body Composition data.cite journal
last =Tahrani
first =Abd
authorlink =
coauthors =Kristien Boelaert, Richard Barnes, Suzanne Palin, Annmarie Field, Helen Redmayne, Lisa Aytok, Asad Rahim1
title =Body volume index: time to replace body mass index?
journal =Endocrine Abstracts
volume =15
issue =
pages =104
publisher =Society for Endocrinology, British Endocrine Societies
location =
date =10 April 2008
url =
doi =
id =
accessdate = 2008-09-07

Most 3D scanners suitable for BVI require that the subject is scanned for a series of images under varying lighting conditions (various projected patterns), to determine body shape and weight distribution data for individual patient and statistical analysis.


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