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BMI Determination on Top 3 Requirements by Employers Now, From Pioneer Lab’s Medical Availment Survey

Body mass index (BMI) is the cornerstone of the current classification system of obesity and its advantages are widely exploited across disciplines ranging from international surveillance to individual patient assessment. However, like all anthropometric measurements, it is only a surrogate measure of body fitness. Obesity is defined as an excess accumulation of body fat, and it is the amount of this excess fat correlates with ill-health. We propose therefore that much greater attention should be paid to the development of data bases and standards based on the direct measurement of body fat in wide range of conditions in which surrogate anthropometric measures (especially BMI) provide misleading information about body fat content. These include: infancy and childhood; ageing; racial differences; athletes; military and civil forces personnel; weight loss with and without exercise; physical training; and special clinical circumstances. We argue that BMI continues to serve well for many purposes, but the time is now right to initiate a gradual evolution beyond BMI towards standards based on actual measurements of body fat mass.

B.M.I. Classification
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify underweight, overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters (kg/m2). For example, an adult who weighs 70kg and whose height is 1.75m will have a BMI of 22.9.

BMI = 70 kg / (1.75 m2) = 70 / 3.06 = 22.9

Classification BMI(kg/m2)
Principal cut-off points Additional cut-off points
Underweight <18.50 <18.50
Severe thinness <16.00 <16.00
Moderate thinness 16.00 – 16.99 16.00 – 16.99
Mild thinness 17.00 – 18.49 17.00 – 18.49
Normal range 18.50 – 24.99 18.50 – 22.99
23.00 – 24.99
Overweight ≥25.00 ≥25.00
Pre-obese 25.00 – 29.99 25.00 – 27.49
27.50 – 29.99
Obese ≥30.00 ≥30.00
Obese class I 30.00 – 34.99 30.00 – 32.49
32.50 – 34.99
Obese class II 35.00 – 39.99 35.00 – 37.49
37.50 – 39.99
Obese class III ≥40.00 ≥40.00

There had been two previous attempts to interpret the BMI cut-offs in Asian and Pacific populations, which contributed to the growing debates. Therefore, to shed the light on this debates, WHO convened the Expert Consultation on BMI in Asian populations (Singapore, 8-11 July, 2002).

The WHO Expert Consultation concluded that the proportion of Asian people with a high risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease is substantial at BMI’s lower than the existing WHO cut-off point for overweight (= 25 kg/m2). However, the cut-off point for observed risk varies from 22 kg/m2 to 25 kg/m2 in different Asian populations and for high risk, it varies from 26 kg/m2 to 31 kg/m2. The Consultation, therefore, recommended that the current WHO BMI cut-off points (Table 1) should be retained as the international classification.


But the cut-off points of 23, 27.5, 32.5 and 37.5 kg/m2 are to be added as points for public health action. It was, therefore, recommended that countries should use all categories (i.e. 18.5, 23, 25, 27.5, 30, 32.5 kg/m2, and in many populations, 35, 37.5, and 40 kg/m2) for reporting purposes, with a view to facilitating international comparisons.


BMI values are age-independent and the same for both sexes. However, BMI may not correspond to the same degree of fatness in different populations due, in part, to different body proportions. The health risks associated with increasing BMI are continuous and the interpretation of BMI grading in relation to risk may differ for different populations.

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