Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
ANJOS, Luiz A.. Body mass index as a tool in the nutritional assessment of adults: a review. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1992, vol.26, n.6, pp. 431-436. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89101992000600009.
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 ³ 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.
Keywords : Nutritional status; Body mass index; Obesity; Protein-calorie malnutrition.