In its 5 January 2013 issue the Economist published this letter from Professor L N Trefethen:
The body-mass index that you (and the National Health Service) count on to assess obesity is a bizarre measure. We live in a three-dimensional world, yet the BMI is defined as weight divided by height squared. It was invented in the 1840s, before calculators, when a formula had to be very simple to be usable. As a consequence of this ill-founded definition, millions of short people think they are thinner than they are, and millions of tall people think they are fatter.
For more information about the New BMI and another method called ABSI, please see the info page.
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