Based on the standards of the WHO
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a convenient rule of thumb used to broadly categorize people as underweight, of normal weight, overweight, or obese. Since the 1980s, BMI has been used as a standard by the World Health Organization (WHO) in national obesity statistics and research.
In clinical practice, BMI is generally regarded as a satisfactory tool for determining whether individuals are overweight or underweight.
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The Body Mass Index (BMI), also known as the Quetelet index, is a standardized method to express a person's body weight. It is calculated by dividing a person's body mass by the square of their body height. The resulting value is one's BMI in kg/m2. Depending on how low or high this value is, a person is usually classified as underweight, of normal weight, overweight, or obese.
The BMI index was created between 1830 and 1850 by Adolphe Quetelet, a Belgian scientist and mathematician. While not a fully comprehensive way of assessing one's physical health, it is widely known and used due to its simplicity. Because it accounts for not just mass but also height, it gives a more accurate picture of one's health than does simply measuring body mass alone. Since the 1980s, the BMI has been used as a standard by the World Health Organization (WHO) in calculating national obesity statistics.
Various systems of expressing one's raw BMI value as a weight class exist; a commonly used one is that of the WHO. According to the WHO, a BMI under 18.5 is underweight, and sometimes indicative of malnutrition, an eating disorder, or other health problems. A BMI between 18.5 and 25 is considered healthy weight, while a BMI over 25 is seen as overweight and one exceeding 30 is obese. An excessively high BMI is a risk factor for various diseases including coronary artery disease, hypertension, stroke, and cancer.
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