NEWS18 October 2010

NICE review for new Body Volume Index

Government UK

UK— A new measure of ‘body volume’, developed from research into children’s clothing sizes, is to be reviewed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for potential use within the National Health Service.

NICE has said it will review the Body Volume Index (BVI) next month as a comparator to the much-maligned Body Mass Index (BMI).

BMI scores a person as being underweight, normal, overweight or obese by comparing height and weight. BVI by contrast looks at weight distribution. It is a spin-off from work carried out by Select Research on behalf of Next, Monsoon, Asda and other retailers, which used 3D scanners to analyse children’s body shapes.

Select Research MD Richard Barnes said: “Most people in the world realise that carrying extra weight around the stomach means that they do have a greater health risk, commonly known in healthcare as central obesity. What BVI now offers the world is a brand new way of measuring the abdominal area which BMI simply cannot do.

“BMI was never meant to be used as an individual assessment for obesity and we believe that after nearly 200 years, each patient deserves to be measured in a way that takes their own body shape and lifestyle factors into account.”