Podcast/Video Interviews by Stephen Ibaraki

A Chat with Richard Barnes: Inventor of the Body Volume Index; CEO/Founder of Select Research Limited

This week, Stephen Ibaraki has an exclusive interview with Richard Barnes.

Richard BarnesRichard Barnes is the inventor of the Body Volume Index (BVI) with extensive experience in sizing standards.

After graduating in 1982, Richard pursued a career in marketing research, working at agencies for twelve years. He was a Director of Research Operations at Research International and TNS, now merged to form Kantar- one of the world's largest research agencies.

In 1995, Richard set up Select as a research company and the company expanded substantially in 30 years as the 3D engineering part developed.

In 1997, Select was commissioned by Next to undertake the UK's first sizing survey using 3D scanners. This led to four sizing surveys for M&S and others. Managed Size UK in 2001, the first ever National Sizing Survey for the UK Government, and Shape GB in 2008, the National Childrenswear Survey, sponsored by six major retailers. These resulted in trade mannequins, an industry report on uniform standards and other national surveys, such as Size USA.

In February 2000, Richard conceived the idea of the Body Volume Index (BVI) as an inverse method of using 3D scanning technology to measure part-volumes for health risk and to provide a better indicator than BMI. Since 2004 Richard has co-ordinated R&D for BVI. He has secured the involvement of some of the largest and most respected organisations in healthcare and validation including Mayo Clinic, Medical Research Council, and University of Westminster.

    Other Achievements
  • Chair of the Resources Committee of the British Market Research Association (1997 and 2001)
  • Invited speaker at 3D scanning and measurement conferences around the world
  • BVI has been part publicly funded by the UK Government and the EU since 2010
  • Raised awareness of BVI in developing nations through trials between 2019 and 2022 supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). Re-engineered the technology to become as easy to deploy as the Body Mass Index (BMI).
  • Trademarked BVI and patented the technology in major healthcare market (

    Selected Scientific Publications
  • Boelaert, K., Palin, S., Field, A., Rahim, A., & Barnes, R. (2008, April). The impact of 3D body images on motivating weight loss in overweight individuals. In Endocrine Abstracts (Vol. 15). Bioscientifica.
  • Tahrani, A. A., Boelaert, K., Palin, S., Field, A., Redmayne, H., Barnes, R., Aytok, L.,& Rahim, A. (2008). Body Volume Index (BVI): Time to Replace Body Mass Index (BMI). Endocrine Abstracts, 15, P104.
  • Romero-Corral, A., Somers, V., Lopez-Jimenez, F., Korenfeld, Y., Palin, S., Boclaert, K., Barnes, R., ... & Rahirn, A. (2008, October). 3-d body scanners, body volume index: A novel, reproducible and automated anthropometric tool associated with cardiometabolic biomarkers. In Obesity (Vol. 16, pp. S124-S124). 75 VARICK ST, 9TH FLR, NEW YORK, NY 10013-1917 USA: Nature Publishing Groups.