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Forget about BMI! HOGENT contributes to the app to measure body fat

At this moment BMI (Body Mass Index) is the most well-known but also the simplest method to check if you have a healthy weight in relation to your height. Because there is a lot of criticism of this benchmark, HOGENT researchers went looking for an equally simple, but more precise method to calculate the fat percentage in your body. The algorithm that they developed was now integrated with two companies in an app that scans your body and then determines your percentage of body fat.

"Although BMI is a very popular and simple way to determine whether you have a healthy weight in relation to your height, there is a lot of criticism of this method of measurement," explains researcher Willem De Keyzer. "A healthy weight depends on many more factors than just the ratio between our weight and our height. Moreover, BMI is too often used as a derived measure for our body fat content, which is not correct. BMI is also less useful for children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with a lot of muscle mass. "

HOGENT's research team therefore looked for alternatives. "Of course there are many other methods that can give a more precise picture of a person's body fat percentage," says Willem. "But for this you need very expensive measuring equipment, such as an MRI scan, making them less accessible to a wide audience."

Within HOGENT's research project, the team developed an algorithm with which the fat percentage can be determined more accurately than by calculating BMI. Using a few simple measurements of body measurements, the algorithm generates a calculation of the fat percentage in a person's body. To arrive at this algorithm, the researchers determined on the basis of 3D body scans which body measurements and / or ratios between these measures were decisive for the fat percentage. The team subjected two hundred and fifty subjects to different measurement methods. In addition to a few manual measurements, each subject underwent a 3D body scan, and the fat percentage was determined by means of a reference measurement in the Bodpod and a bioelectrical impedance measurement.

To further develop the algorithm into a useful tool for as many people as possible, HOGENT decided to work with the Danish company Global Scanning, an international market leader in scanning technologies. They will process the algorithm in the software 'Shapewatch', which is a collaboration between the Ghent company QuantaCorp and Global Scanning. These companies are working on a bodyscan method for the fitness and wellness market that automatically calculates the body composition, and therefore also the fat percentage. Alexander Vandevelde of QuantaCorp: "The cooperation between Global Scanning, HOGENT and QuantaCorp is very successful. QuantaCorp now has the opportunity to open its scanning technology to a wider audience, with Global Scanning providing the hardware and the necessary commercial know-how to market Shapewatch. The algorithm developed by HOGENT is an indispensable piece of the puzzle to make Shapewatch a reliable scanning and measuring method. "

Willem De Keyzer is very satisfied with the outcome of the project. "It was a particularly challenging and fascinating research project in which HOGENT researchers from different disciplines worked together in a successful way. The algorithm, the final result of the project, could immediately count on a lot of international interest. Nevertheless, we deliberately opted for a collaboration with a company from Ghent, in order to be able to anchor our practice-oriented research regionally at the same time. The international touch of the collaboration with Global Scanning made the project complete for me ", concludes De Keyzer.

"研究人员Willem De Keyzer解释说:“虽然BMI是一种非常流行且简单的方法,用来判断你的体重是否与你的身高有关,但是这种测量方法受到了很多批评。”“健康的体重不仅取决于体重和身高的比例,还取决于很多其他因素。”此外,BMI经常被用作测量我们身体脂肪含量的衍生指标,这是不正确的。身体质量指数对儿童、老年人、孕妇和肌肉量大的人就没那么有用。"

因此,HOGEBT的研究小组寻找其他的方法。“当然,还有很多其他的方法可以更精确地描述一个人的身体脂肪比例。但要做到这一点,你需要非常昂贵的测量设备,比如核磁共振成像(MRI)扫描,让人望而却步。”Willem说。

在HOGENT的研究项目中,研究小组开发了一种算法,可以比通过计算BMI更精确地确定脂肪百分比。通过一些简单的身体测量数据,该算法可以计算出一个人体内脂肪的百分比。为了得到这个算法,研究人员基于三维身体扫描确定了哪些身体测量和这些测量之间的比率是决定脂肪百分比的决定性因素。研究小组让250名受试者接受不同的测量方法。除了一些手工测量,每个受试者都进行了3D身体扫描,脂肪百分比是通过Bodpod和生物阻抗测量来测定的。

为了将算法进一步发展为尽可能多的人使用的有用工具,HOGENT决定与丹麦公司Global Scanning合作,后者是扫描技术的国际市场领导者。他们将在软件“Shapewatch”中植入算法,这是来自Ghent的QuantaCorp和Global Scanning的合作项目。这些公司正在研究一种针对健身和健康市场的人体扫描方法,这种方法可以自动计算出身体成分,从而计算出脂肪百分比。QuantaCorp的Alexander Vandevelde:“Global Scanning,HOGENT和QuantaCorp之间的合作非常成功。QuantaCorp现在有机会向更广泛的用户开放其扫描技术,Global Scanning为Shapewatch提供硬件和必要的商业培训。Shapewatch成为一种可靠的扫描测量方法,HOGENT开发的算法是一个不可或缺的组成部分。"

Willem De Keyzer对项目的结果非常满意。“这是一个特别具有挑战性和引人关注的研究项目,这是HOGEBT不同领域的研究人员全力合作的研究成果。该算法及项目的最终成果将会获得国际市场的广泛关注。而且,我们特意选择和来自Ghent的一家公司合作,为的是将这项实验导向的研究成果迅速得以实现。和Global Scanning合作让该项目推向国际市场。” De Keyzer总结说。

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