BODY MASS INDEX (BMI)

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 metres. 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).

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