News Excerpt
According to a study in The Lancet that was published recently, India ranks third and fifth from the bottom respectively among countries where 19-year-old girls and boys have a low body mass index.
Observations of the recent Lancet study
•    The study provides new estimates for height and BMI trends in 2019 across 200 countries after analysing data from 2,181 studies.
•    The mean BMI of 19-year-old boys is 20.1 in India, compared to a high of 29.6 in the Cook Islands and a low of 19.2 in Ethiopia.
•    For Indian girls, the mean BMI is again 20.1, compared to a high of 29.0 in Tonga and a low of 19.6 in Timor-Leste.
•    The mean height of Indian 19-year-olds is 166.5 cm for boys and 155.2 cm for girls, well below the high of Netherlands boys (183.8 cm) and girls (170 cm).
•    The 20 cm or higher difference between countries with the tallest and shortest mean height represents approximately 8 years of growth gap for girls and approximately 6 years for boys. For example, 19-year-

Body Mass Index
    Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.
    BMI is measured as the weight in kg divided by the square of the height in metres. World Health Organization guidelines define a normal BMI range as 18.5 to 24.9, overweight as 25 or higher, and obesity as 30 or higher.
•    old girls in India have the same mean height as 12-year-old Dutch girls.

Way Forward
Although both height and BMI have increased from 1985 to 2019, there is still a great deal of potential for height while curbing any future rise in obesity. Hence the programmes targeted towards the poor from birth through school years are the need of the hour.
Body Mass Index
    Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.
    BMI is measured as the weight in kg divided by the square of the height in metres. World Health Organization guidelines define a normal BMI range as 18.5 to 24.9, overweight as 25 or higher, and obesity as 30 or higher.