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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 71-74

Challenges of body mass index classification: New criteria for young adult Nigerians


Department of Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Basic Medical Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun-State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O Ogunlade
Department of Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Basic Medical Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun-State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1596-4078.182319

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Background: There are evidences to suggest that the World Health Organization (WHO) general cutoff points for body mass index (BMI) may not be the most appropriate for young adults globally irrespective of racial and ethnic considerations. Objective: This study assessed body anthropometric parameters in healthy population of young adult Nigerians with a view to determining race and gender-specific criteria (Ife criteria) for BMI classification. Methods: Four hundred and eighty-four (242 males and 242 females) healthy subjects aged between 18 and 41 years (inclusive) were recruited for the study. The participants were age- and sex-matched (mean age: 22.81 ± 3.83 years). The weight and height of the subjects were obtained using standard techniques while BMI was calculated as derivatives of height and weight. The BMI was classified using 5 th , 85 th , and 95 th percentiles and delineated into underweight (<5 th percentile), normal (5-85 th percentile), overweight (85-95 th percentile), and obese (>95 th percentile). Results: The result showed that the general BMI cutoff values for underweight, normal, overweight, and obesity were <17.8, 17.8-24.7, 24.8-27.8, and ≥27.9, respectively. The sex-specific BMI cutoff values for underweight, normal, overweight, and obesity in males and females were < 17.8 and < 17.8; 17.8-23.6 and 17.8-25.6; 23.7-26.8 and 25.7-28.7; and ≥26.9 and ≥28.8, respectively. Conclusions: The cutoff values for the new criteria for BMI classification were lower than the WHO defined values and sex differences were demonstrated in BMI. Therefore, WHO criteria may not be universally applicable.


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