Ponderal Index is a ratio of a person’s height to weight.
While it can apply to people of any age, it is typically used in Pediatrics (Children and Babies) to assess the ratio of height to weight of a person.
In pounds and inches (imperial scale), Ponderal Index is calculated as:
In meters and kilograms (metric scale), Ponderal Index is calculated as:
A person has a mass of 165 lbs and is 5 foot 10 inches (70 inches) tall.
This person’s Ponderal Index is 16.98
A person has a mass of 75kg and is 1m 78cm (1.78m) tall.
This person’s Ponderal Index is 13.29
Challenges with Ponderal Index
Like all “simple” health calculators (such as BMI), Ponderal Index is an indicator of health (among a number of other factors) not an absolute measurement.
Some challenges with Ponderal Index include:
– It does not show a difference between people with lots of muscle and lots of fat – a very muscly person may have the same BMI as a person with a lot of fat.
– It does not show a difference between body types that may hold weight in different parts of their bodies
It is important to remember that Ponderal Index is an indicator and not an absolute measurement of health.
- Wikipedia – Ponderal index
- Barker, Osmund, Godfrey, and Bull – The relation of fetal length, ponderal index and head circumference to blood pressure and the risk of hypertension in adult life
- Charles du V. Florey – The use and interpretation of ponderal index and other weight-height ratios in epidemiological studies
- Rasmussen and Johansson – The relation of weight, length and ponderal index at birth to body mass index and overweight among 18-year-old males in Sweden