Weight-watchers, please note, you no longer have to measure the BMI (body mass index) -- the new measure of obesity to be launched on Tuesday is called BVI (body volume index).

The BVI will be launched in Birmingham on the basis of sustained research that claims to be a more accurate assessment of your health and fat.

For the last three years there has been an increasing awareness BVI, which is a new computerised measurement system many anticipate could replace Body Mass Index (BMI) as a more accurate measurement of health risks among the overweight and mildly obese.

BVI has been developed by Birmingham-based research company Select Research which now, after three years of validation of BVI, will launch the new measurement to the media, healthcare professionals and academics in Birmingham.

BVI will provide an alternative guide to help better indicate potential weight-related health risks, official sources here said.

The system is able to determine the difference between muscle and fat and, importantly, exactly where weight is distributed across the body, taking body shape into account for the first time.

BVI is expected to offer the National Health Service a more accurate assessment system that uses objective, automated data measurement.

Select Research came up with the concept for BVI after carrying out a survey in 1989, when it explored whether or not scanners could be used to measure the inside of the body rather than the outside for clothing.

Researchers have also worked alongside academics in the field of Applied Science and Engineering at Aston University and consultants in Diabetes and Endocrinology at Heartlands Hospital, in Birmingham.

Lorraine Holmes, chief executive of Business Link WM said: “It’s really exciting that a Midlands-based company is leading this field, working on a global scale and is able to launch such a potentially ground-breaking piece of research in this way.

Hopefully, in the months and years ahead, BVI will become a ‘gold standard’ in the health care industry.”

Debra Blisson, Director of Enterprise and Business Support at Advantage West Midlands, said: “This enormous achievement is testament to the region’s reputation as a global centre of excellence in research and development, and its ability to effectively commercialise scientific research”.

Keywords: health issueBMIBVIobesity