BMI is a common medical abbreviation which stands for Body Mass Index. It is defined as the ratio of one’s body weight in kilograms to that of his/her height squared in metres. In other words, the weight is divided by height multiplied by itself twice. It is a clinical tool used to assess one’s nutritional status in adults with extreme values of BMI representing ranges of severe thinness to severe obesity

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.

Below is the current classification of nutritional status using BMI

Classification                     BMI (Kg/m2)

Severe thinness                               below 16.00

Moderate thinness         16.00-16.99

Mild thinness                     17.00-18.49

Normal range                    18.50-24.99

Pre-obese                           25.00-29.99

Obese class I                      30.00-34.99

Obese class II                     35.00-39.99

Obese class III                   40.00 and above

Generally, a person with a BMI of less than 18.50 is considered underweight, 25.00 or more is overweight and 30.00 or more is considered obese