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Body mass index (body mass.body height-2) as indicator of nutritional status in adults: review of the literature

Body mass index (body mass.body height-2) as indicator of nutritional status in adults: review of the literature

Revista de Saude Publica 26(6): 431-436

The limitations and possible uses of the body mass index (BMI) or Quételet index, calculated as the ratio of body mass (kg), and squared stature (m), as an indicator of the nutritional status of adults, are reviewed. The cut-off values for overweight (BMI > or = 25) and chronic energy deficiency (BMI < 18.5) are discussed in the light of the available international literature. Even though BMI does not assess the body composition (BC) of individuals, the case with which it is measured is a strong argument for the use of BMI in epidemiological studies associated otherwise with other anthropometric measurement until such a time as simpler field methods of the assessment of BC are developed.

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Accession: 039413353

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PMID: 1342535

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