The National Institute of Nutrition, an oldest public health, nutrition and translational research centre (Hyderabad) has recently announced that the ideal weight for Indian men and women will be increased by 5 kg, from 60 to 65 in men and 50 to 55 in women.
Not only the weight but for an ideal BMI, the height of a person is also revised from 5.6 to 5.8 feet in men and 5 to 5.3 feet in women. The survey had increased the ideal BMI for people of India. Take a look at the details.
What Is BMI?
Body mass index or BMI refers to the ideal weight of a person according to his/her height. In short, BMI is a metric used to define anthropometric height/weight of a person and categorise them in groups according to their age, gender, chronic diseases and country.
It helps represent whether a person is healthy or at the risk of obesity and other metabolic syndrome diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and many more.
BMI is mostly used in population-based studies related to the health issues of people who are either overweight or underweight. However, BMI does not exactly calculate the deposition of body fat in different body areas, it can indicate a range of health issues, related mortality risk and social issues behind body fatness. 
An ideal BMI of a person is between 18.5 to 24.9. Less than 18.5 is considered underweight, between 25-29.9 is overweight while more than 30 reflects obesity.
How Is BMI Calculated?
BMI is calculated by dividing kg/m2, where kg indicated weight in kilograms and m2 is the measurement of height in metres. As heights are mostly calculated in centimetres, it can be obtained in metres by dividing the value by 100.
For example, the weight of a person is 55 kg and height is 162 cm (around 5.3 feet). Convert 162 into metres by dividing it by 100, that equals 1.61 metres.
BMI= Weight (in kg) / [height (in meters) x height (in meters)].
55/ (1.61*1.61) = 21.21
This indicated that a person’s BMI is ideal and he/she is at lower risk of chronic diseases.
About The Survey
The survey was done as the nutritional food intake has increased in the past decade. With changes in ideal body weight, height and BMI, the National Institute of Nutrition has also revised the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) of a person which says about the average daily intake of essential nutrients for healthy people.
The report was evaluated based on studies conducted by various healthcare institutions. Data from both the rural and urban areas were also considered. The Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi has also updated its RDA. The reference age of Indian men and women has been changed from 19-39 (for women) and 20-39 (for men).
The earlier report evaluated in 2010 considered data based on just 10 states and weight and height of only adults and children. But the new report released this year 2020, evaluated data from people of all age groups, genders and both the sections (urban and rural) of the society from different states of India.
Health Risks Of Being Overweight
- High LDL (bad) cholesterol and low HDL (good) cholesterol
- Coronary heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Anxiety or depression
- Muscle or body pain
- Cognitive decline
Health Risks Of Being Underweight
- Nutrition deficiency
- The weakening of the immune system
- Developmental problems, especially in children
- Surgical complications
How To Maintain Normal BMI
- Exercise daily for around one hour.
- Stay hydrated.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Avoid fried or junk foods.
- Eat foods low in calorie and high in fibre.
- Perform yoga or medication for mental well being.
- Stay physically active.
The change is bodyweight of Indian men and women can be purposeful seeing the changes in diets and nutritional food intake by people. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic had made people realise the importance of good immunity which had directly affected the increased consumption of healthy and immune-boosting foods, leading to changes in the average body weight up to certain levels.
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