The body mass index has been used by the medical community to identify whether someone is the right weight. It’s calculated by dividing your weight by the square of your height. But it’s actually a very archaic system, devised by a Belgian astronomer in the mid-1800s. It showed up in a medical journal in 1972 and has been used ever since. But it is generally considered too broad a measure to accurately identify optimal weight or body fat content.
Mayo Clinic has just launched a new way to measure weight called the Body Volume Indicator, designed to more precisely estimate weight distribution and fat around organs by dividing total volume with abdominal volume. A 3D measurement company called Select Research has developed an iPad app, BVI Pro, that will calculate a person’s BVI with a quick scan. Mayo Clinic is first introducing this new measurement to members of the medical, clinical, and fitness communities, but it hopes that this will eventually become a standard for measuring body mass by 2020, supplementing the BMI.