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Indian teens rank low on BMI among shortest

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

Indian teens rank low on BMI, among shortest:


Context:

A review of BMI of various countries was recently published in the medical journal The Lancet.

  • The study carried out a global analysis of data over 34 years from 200 countries.

What is BMI (body mass idex)? How is it calculated?

BMI is measured as the weight in kg divided by the square of the height in metres.

  • The normal BMI ranges between 20 and 25.

 Key findings:

India related:

  • The study has ranked India at the 196th spot with respect to BMI.
  • India’s 19-year-old boys and girls have a BMI of 20.1.
  • Comparatively, China ranks 88 with its boys having a BMI of 23 and 119 for its girls at 22.2.
  • India ranks third and fifth from the bottom respectively among countries where 19-year-old girls and boys have a low body mass index.

Concerns for India:

  • As BMI is a function of height, the corollary is that Indian teens are also among the shortest in the world.
  • The findings also contradict authorities claim that Indian children are not as malnourished or stunted as they used to be a decade ago.
  • The study notes that poor nutrition may be the reason behind this.

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InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is BMI?
  2. India’s performance in the above mentioned study.
  3. Comparative analysis of India’s performance and its neighbours.

Mains Link:

Discuss the Indian authorities claim that Indian children are not as malnourished or stunted as they used to be a decade ago.

Source: Times Of India