BMI stands for body mass index. It is a convenient way to see whether someone is likely to be either over or under weight.

The way BMI is calculated for South Asians is different to the way in which it is calculated for people with a European background.

The reason for this is that South Asians have been found to be more at risk of the problems of being overweight such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Read more about the risk factors of diabetes

BMI to weight (WHO)
BMI Meaning
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 to 22.9 Healthy weight
23 and above Above ideal range

When you have your BMI number refer to the table below and determine whether you are underweight, in the normal range or overweight.

Limitations of BMI measurements

For certain people, the BMI measurement may not be the best measure as the calculation assumes that people will have more or less a similar amount of muscle.

Therefore those who have a high level of muscle mass may incorrectly fall into the overweight bracket.

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