It's not so easy to gain the true measure of things

I teach measurement – the quantification of things. Some people think this is the most objective of the sciences; just numbers and observations, or what many people call objective facts.

Study examines obesity and reproductive status of zoo elephants

With low birth rates, the sustainability of a zoo African elephant population is in question. A new study from University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers reveals that there is no relationship between how fat a zoo African ...

Study may add to resource managers' toolbox

A major study by researchers at William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science shows that many diverse species of Chesapeake Bay fishes—whether they eat zooplankton, other fishes, or bottom-dwelling invertebrates—exhibit ...

Large-scale study of genetic data shows humans still evolving

In a study analyzing the genomes of 210,000 people in the United States and Britain, researchers at Columbia University find that the genetic variants linked to Alzheimer's disease and heavy smoking are less frequent in people ...

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Body mass index

The body mass index (BMI), or Quetelet index, is a controversial statistical measurement which compares a person's weight and height. Though it does not actually measure the percentage of body fat, it may be a useful tool to estimate a healthy body weight based on how tall a person is. Due to its ease of measurement and calculation, it is the most widely used diagnostic tool to identify weight problem within a population including: underweight, overweight and obesity. It was invented between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing "social physics". Body mass index is defined as the individual's body weight divided by the square of his or her height. The formulae universally used in medicine produce a unit of measure of kg/m2. BMI can also be determined using a BMI chart, which displays BMI as a function of weight (horizontal axis) and height (vertical axis) using contour lines for different values of BMI or colours for different BMI categories.

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