Broca Index (BI)
The Broca Index is a measure of ideal body weight using a height measurement only. The Broca Index was developed by Paul Broca, a French surgeon who lived between 1824 and 1880. The Broca index is only a rough estimate and applies to the range of middle body sizes best. The BMI is a more common calculation of ideal body weight using the height and weight measurements. See also the similar Ponderal Index.
- equipment required: stadiometer for measuring height.
- procedure: BI uses just a single measurement of height in cm. To get the recommended standard weight, you take away 100 from the height in cm. For example, a man 182 cm tall will have a standard weight of 82 kg. For females, the standard weight is 10% less. For example, a woman 182 cm tall will have a standard weight of 73.8 kg (0.9 x 82).
Standard Weight (kg) = Ht (cm) - 100
- target population: this simple equation is not commonly used today, but is most accurate for those of moderate size.
- advantages: a simple calculation from a single standard measurement.
- disadvantages: this is a rough approximation, and not accurate for extremes of height.
- other comments: Other simple measures of body composition, such as skinfolds measures, would be preferable if available.
- references: Mémoires d’anthropologie. Paris, 1871/1877.