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Adults and body mass index (BMI)

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A quite different anthropometric index is used to measure acute protein-energy malnutrition (sometimes called "chronic energy deficiency" in adults). This is the body mass index (BMI). This time, unlike weight-for-height in children, you DO divide weight by height, or rather, you divide weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters:

The cut-off point defining malnutrition is the same for all adults, regardless of their age, height, or sex:

Type and level of malnutrition BMI range (kg/m2)
Obese 30.0+
Overweight 25.0 - 29.9
Normal 18.5 - 24.9
CED* Mild 17.0 - 18.4
CED Moderate 16.0 - 16.9
CED Severe <16.0

* CED = Chronic energy deficiency