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Body Mass Index

a calculated number, based on height and weight, used to compare and analyse the health effects of body weight on human bodies of all heights. BMI was developed by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet in the course of working out his system of "social physics", between 1830 and 1850 (and is therefore also known as the Quetelet Index). It is equal to the weight, divided by the square of the height.

Typically, the weight is in kilograms and the height in metres, and the unit kg/m2 is often left out. (Using imperial units this is 703.07 times the weight in pounds, divided by the square of the height in inches.)

BMI is a common means of measuring overweight and obesity in humans. However, there are some concerns that BMI does not always present an accurate picture of these issues in individuals and populations.

Typically, the weight is in kilograms and the height in metres, and the unit kg/m2 is often left out. (Using imperial units this is 703.07 times the weight in pounds, divided by the square of the height in inches.)

BMI is a common means of measuring overweight and obesity in humans. However, there are some concerns that BMI does not always present an accurate picture of these issues in individuals and populations.

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