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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

versión On-line ISSN 1669-9106


PUCHE, Rodolfo C.. Body Mass Index and the reasoning of an astronomer. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2005, vol.65, n.4, pp. 361-365. ISSN 1669-9106.

This article traces the story of the Body Mass Index, also called Quetelet´s Index or the ratio between weight (in kilograms) divided by height (in meters) squared. The Index is used extensively in clinical practice to characterize overweight. Based on literature reports, probable answers are furnished for the following questions: Which were Quetelet´s objectives at associating weight with height? Why did he choose to select Weight/(Height)2? When did the index begin to be applied in modern clinical medicine? Which were the experimental studies which associated the ratio Weight/(Height)2 with the body fat content? Which are the limitations of the ratio?

Palabras clave : Quetelet´s index; body mass index; obesity.

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