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BMI International Guidelines

Detailed WHO BMI measurements & their meaning


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  • BMI does not measure body fat percentage. 
  • BMI as a measurement, parallels fatness but is not a direct measure of fat.
  • Interpretation is dependent on where an individual's BMI measure falls within defined weight status designations136. For example an individual whose BMI falls within the BMI range of 18.5 - 25 is considered to have a healthy weight.


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Optimum Median BMI

'The distribution of BMIs in the First World and Western data implies that a median BMI between 20 and 21 is consistent with excellent long-term health in groups of adults but a population median of 20 implies that the third percentile is ±16.0. This is clearly associated with marked morbidity in the developing world and the same is probably true in the West. It is therefore proposed to retain the optimum median at 21-23 with a cut-off point of 18.5 pending further studies. The avoidance of overweight may be more important in Western societies, but for the simplicity of handling data it would seem reasonable for the present to retain the BMI range of 18.5-25.0 as acceptable for individuals and a median population BMI as best within the 21-23 range137.'


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BMI & Glycemic Index Risk

An important finding of the Nurses Health Study, was the association of glycemic index [GI] and body mass index [BMI].

It was shown that risk associated with consuming high glycemic index carbohydrates was mainly seen in individuals whose BMI was over 23. No risk was seen in individuals whose BMI was less than 23138.

To calculate your body mass index [BMI] click on the following link: BodyCalculator

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