Corpulence index

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The Corpulence Index (CI) or Ponderal Index (PI) is a measure of leanness (corpulence) of a person[1] calculated as a relationship between mass and height.[2] It was first proposed in 1921 as the "Corpulence measure" by Swiss physician Fritz Rohrer[3][4] and hence is also known as Rohrer's Index.[5] It is similar to the body mass index, but the mass is normalized with the third power of body height rather than the second power.[6] It took almost a century after Rohrer proposed it, before Sultan Babar showed that CI does not need to be adjusted for height after adolescence.[4]

with in kilograms and in metres, giving a measure with the same dimensions as density. The corpulence index yields valid results even for very short and very tall persons,[7] which is a problem with BMI — for example, an ideal height-adjusted body weight for a person 150 cm tall will render BMI of 20.7 and CI of 13.6, while for a person 200 cm tall the BMI will be 24.84, very close to the "overweight" threshold of 25, while CI will be 12.4.[8]

Because of this property, it is most commonly used in pediatrics.[9][10] (For a baby, one can take crown-heel length for the height.[11]) The normal values for infants are about twice as high as for adults, which is the result of their relatively short legs.[citation needed] It does not need to be adjusted for age after adolescence.[6] It has also been shown to have a lower false positive rate in athletes.[12]

The corpulence index is variously defined (the first definition should be preferred due to the use of SI-units kg and m) as follows:

Formula Units for mass
(body weight)
Units for height
(or length)
Values considered normal or typical
for a 12-month-old infant beyond infancy
[10] kilograms metres 24[9] 12[6]
[9] grams centimetres (same values as above)
[1][13] pounds inches 12.49 to 13.92


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Foods and Nutrition Encyclopedia, Audrey H. Ensminger, Marion Eugene Ensminger. p. 1645
  2. ^ EXSS 323: LAB 1 - BIOMECHANICS TOOLS: Computers, Algebra and Trig Oregon State University
  3. ^ F. Rohrer (1921). "Der Index der Körperfülle als Maß des Ernährungszustandes". Münchner Med. WSCHR. 68: 580–582.
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c d Babar, Sultan (March 2015). "Evaluating the Performance of 4 Indices in Determining Adiposity". Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins). 25 (2): 183. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  7. ^ Lawrence F. Ditmier: New Developments in Obesity Research. Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, New York 2006, ISBN 1-60021-296-4[page needed]
  8. ^ v Roth, Jonathan (2018). "Taller people should have Higher BMI's and Blood Pressure Measurements as their Normal" (PDF). Biomed J Sci & Tech Res. 6 (4). doi:10.26717/BJSTR.2018.06.001381.
  9. ^ a b c Davies, D. P. (1980). "Size at birth and growth in the first year of life of babies who are overweight and underweight at birth". Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 39 (1): 25–33. doi:10.1079/PNS19800005. PMID 6988835.
  10. ^ a b ACC/SCN NUTRITION POLICY PAPER No. 19 - Glossary Archived 2007-08-20 at the Wayback Machine by Lindsay H. Allen and Stuart R. Gillespie
  11. ^ Fayyaz, Jabeen (June 2005). "Ponderal Index". Journal of Pakistan Medical Association. 55 (6): 228–9. PMID 16045088.
  12. ^ Babar, Sultan (March 2016). "The Use of Adiposity Indices for Wide Receivers From 2015 NFL Combine". Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins) 2. 26 (2): e23. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Khoury, MJ; Berg, CJ; Calle, EE (September 1990). "The ponderal index in term newborn siblings". American Journal of Epidemiology. 132 (3): 576–83. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a115694. PMID 2389761.

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