Body mass index or BMI has long been the standard for measuring health. The simple formula is widely used to classify whether our weight falls within a “healthy” range for our height. BMI provides an estimate of a person’s overall disease risk, and is used around the world to measure obesity.

But BMI has come under criticism because it can be inaccurate in estimating body fat and doesn’t provide a full picture of a person’s health. Research also shows that relying on BMI alone to predict a person’s risk of health problems can be misleading.

The formula for calculating BMI was first invented in 1832 by Belgian mathematician and astronomer Adolphe Quetelet. To calculate it, you divide weight in kilograms by height in metres squared (kg/m2).

Body mass index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilogram divided by the square of height in meters.

India ranks third and fifth from the bottom respectively among countries where 19-year-old girls and boys have a low Body Mass Index (BMI), according to a study in The Lancet to be published.

The study provides new estimates for height and BMI trends in 2019 across 200 countries after analysing data from 2,181 studies.

BMI is measured as the weight in kg divided by the square of the height in meters. World Health Organization guidelines define a normal BMI range as 18.5 to 24.9, overweight as 25 or higher, and obesity as 30 or higher.

The mean BMI of 19-year-old boys is 20.1 in India, compared to a high of 29.6 in the Cook Islands and a low of 19.2 in Ethiopia. For Indian girls, the mean BMI is again 20.1, compared to a high of 29.0 in Tonga and a low of 19.6 in Timor-Leste.

The mean height of Indian 19-year-olds is 166.5 cm for boys and 155.2 cm for girls, well below the high of Netherlands boys (183.8 cm) and girls (170 cm).

Body Mass Index Formula : BMI is measured as the weight in kg divided by the square of the height in meters


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