Mayo Clinic just launched an alternative to BMI

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Mayo Clinic has devised a new way to measure weight that could very well challenge the decades-old Body Mass Index (BMI) method currently the mainstay o...

Mayo Clinic has devised a new way to measure weight that could very well challenge the decades-old Body Mass Index (BMI) method currently the mainstay of the world’s medical profession.

Known as the Body Volume Indicator (BVI), the new technique has been designed to offer a more precise estimate of weight distribution and fat around organs. Simply put, the new method works by dividing total volume with abdominal volume. Select Research, a company specialised in providing 3D measurements, has developed an iPad app, BVI Pro that can calculate a person's BVI with a simple scan.

According to fastcompany, Mayo Clinic will be the first hospital to use this new measurement, and will be disseminating it to members of its medical, clinical, and fitness communities, but it hopes that this will eventually become a standard for measuring body mass by 2020, supplementing the BMI.

For those who don’t know, Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical practice incorporating its medical research group based in Minnesota USA. The company employs over 4,500 physicians and scientists, alongside almost 60,000 allied health staff.

The practice specializes in treating difficult cases through tertiary care. It spends over $660 million a year on research BMI has been used by the medical community for a very long time and was developed in order to identify whether someone is the correct weight. The value is calculated by dividing weight by the square of the patient’s height.

However, anybody that has used it with any consistency has learned that its reputation for being too broad a measure to accurately identify optimal weight or body fat content is true. 

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