Reference Terms
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Body mass index

The body mass index (BMI) or Quetelet Index is a quotient of body mass which takes into account both height and weight measured as kg/m2, and is used as a simple means of classifying sedentary individuals into groups in relation to their body mass.

It was originally developed between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath, Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing "social physics".

Despite its age, is still used today by government health bodies to see trends in health and illness.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Body mass index", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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