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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.  
Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
The measurement of BMI was described first in the mid 1800’s. The term BMI was presented in 1972 in the Journal of Chronic Diseases.  In the 1980’s the World Health Organization started using the BMI to define obesity.  In 1998, the National Institutes of Health adopted the same definitions which links weight to disease risk.

 

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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