The Body Mass Index(BMI) is a measure of weight divided by height.
BMI= weight (kg) / [height (m)]2
For years there was a debate with regards to whether the World Health Organisation (WHO) approved BMI parameters which stated a BMI of 30 and above as obese, were correct for Asian populations.
Indians as a race, have been known to have a higher body fat than their western counterparts and until now, using the global standards meant a large part of the population went scott-free even though they were at a greater risk for lifestyle related diseases. “Indians have a very different body, genetic and metabolic composition from westerners. Therefore, the parameters for obesity also have to be very different. This will bring more people under the overweight and obesity bracket. The revised guidelines would benefit 6 to 8 crore people. That in turn would lead to substantial prevention of diabetes and heart disease,” said Dr Anoop Misra.
Now,the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on the advice of the WHO has issued new parameters for Indians:
If the BMI is-
- 18.5-22.9:Normal weight
- 23-24.9 :Overweight
- >25 :Obese
So,if you are an Indian(or for that matter of South-Asian origin) and stay overseas,it is important that you bring this change to the notice of your doctor.Chances are that they might not be aware of the change and still use the western BMI parameters on you(literally-“phir bhi dil hain Hindustani”)!