In the 1940’s, psychologist William Herbert Sheldon proposed a classification of human physique into three categories. An ectomorph is a thin person with small muscles and a delicately built body. A mesomorph has well-defined muscles, large bones, and a torso that tapers to a well-defined waist. An endomorph has a rounded stocky body. The words endomorphic, mesomorphic and ectomorphic are still used to describe body types in association with weight training for the purpose of gaining muscle, but modern science is dispelling the idea that body shape is an intrinsic feature that cannot be altered. Only the bones seem to remain constant as a person gains or loses weight.
When I developed the Calorie Restriction Calculator, one of the criticisms was that it does not take into consideration the body types. If it were possible to quantify the body type, the calculation of %CR could be made more accurate. Recently, I came across some digital human modeling work done under Professor Zoran Popović at the University of Washington. His team has used measurements from 250 human body models and created a parametrization set that allows generation of a variety of applications for human body modeling, including: morphing, texture transfer, statistical analysis of shape, and the modification of multiple correlated parameters such as the weight and height of an individual.[1,2] The software makes it possible to visualize how persons look when they get fat or lose weight.