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When did BMI become a standard for obesity measurement?

Body Mass Index (BMI) was invented in the mid 1800's and became the international standard in the 1980's. In June 1998 the National Institute of Health approved the current BMI standards thus raising public awareness of the BMI system.  

Body Mass Index became an international standard for measuring obesity in the 1980s. Before the beginning of that decade, doctors generally used weight-for-height tables (separate figures for men and women) that included ranges of weights for each inch of height. The flaw in such measurements was that they were based on weight alone and not body composition.

The public learned about BMI in the late 1990s, when the government began to promote healthy eating and exercise.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.