The BMI as a somatotypic measure of physique: A rejoinder to Jeremy E.C. Genovese

Academic Article


  • In 2008, Maddan, Walker and Miller promoted the use of the Body Mass Index (BMI) as a viable alternative to Sheldon's technique of somatotyping. Utilizing the BMI, Maddan Walker and Miller re-analyzed the original data from the Sheldon studies. This analysis indicated a statistically significant relationship between the two measures of somatotyping. Genovese wrote a response to this work suggesting the BMI is not a useful proxy for somatotyping individuals. We respond to Genovese's critique by providing a full explication of the Sheldon somatoype measure and an analysis of Sheldon's original data accounting for all of the different somatotypes identified. Analyses here indicate that the original somatotype measure was very subjective. Although not without flaws, the BMI provides an objective somatotype measure that is comparable, if not superior, to the measure promulgated by Sheldon. © 2009 Western Social Science Association.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Maddan S; Walker JT; Miller JM
  • Start Page

  • 394
  • End Page

  • 401
  • Volume

  • 46
  • Issue

  • 2