BMI Calculator India | Body Mass Index Chart For Asian Men & Women

Posted on the 11 September 2018 by Fazila Adam @fazilaadam

How Is BMI Calculator India Different?

This BMI Calculator India is based on criteria published by WHO for Asian populations. The World Health Organisation has revised criteria for BMI cut-off points classifying who is overweight and obese. This is based on evidence that diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease are more prevalent in Asian populations at lower BMI’s than non-Asian population. Additionally, it is now recognised that body fat content and distribution differs across populations.In Asian populations, BMI reflects a higher body fat content. The analysis of the result produced by the BMI Calculator India below shows the different BMI cut-offs for both Asian and Non-Asian populations.

How Accurate Is BMI?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure that has been used for over a century to determine whether a person is overweight or not. It is based on a simple formula invented in 1870 by a Belgian scientist, which divides a person’s weight by their height squared. In 2013, Nick Trefethen an Oxford University mathematician called out that this formula is flawed as it the height value divides the weight by too much for short people, and too little for tall people. As he puts it “so short people are misled into thinking they are thinner than they are, and tall people are misled into thinking they are fatter than they are.” He came up with a new formula for BMI (1.3 x weight/height2.5) which scales more accurately with height. However, Trefethen acknowledges that BMI is not a perfect measurement. The limitations of this tool are that it does not take into individual factors such as bone size, body frame, muscle fat or abdominal fat. It should therefore not be taken as a final evaluation of your health. BMI is misleading in the case of athletes, body builders, children and the elderly. Additionally men generally are more muscular than women, therefore the BMI for men and women of the same weight and height is not really exactly the same. However, to keep it simple the BMI values for both sexes are taken to be the same. Other tools that can be used in conjunction with the BMI Calculator India  are the waist to hip ratio (WHR) and body fat percentage.

New BMI Calculator India (Based on Trefethen's Formula)

The Body Mass Index Chart & Obesity In India

The international threshold for defining a person as overweight is a BMI of 25. Anything greater that 25 is considered overweight. However, the Indian Ministry of Health, has adjusted this value to 23 in accordance with WHO guidelines. Therefore for an Indian man or women, a BMI over 23 is classed as being overweight. An interesting fact is that Indians have a genetic tendency to abdominal obesity, therefore are at higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It has also been observed that there are a greater number of Indian women who are obese compared to Indian men (in 2014 there were 20 million obese women in India, and 9.8 million obese men).

bmi calculator india obesity scale

Healthy Body Fat Percentage Target Levels & Measurement

A better measure of overall health than BMI is Body Fat Percentage. This is a measurement of how much fat you have. This validated data from the American Council of Exercise below, will help you achieve your target weight goals while staying healthy. Generally women have a body fat percentage that is 10% higher than men of the same category. 

Classification Male Body Fat % Female Body Fat %

Essential Fat

2-5 10-13


6-13 14-20


14-17 21-24


18-24 25-31


25+ 32+

How Is Body Fat Measured?

There are a number of techniques employed to measure body fat depending upon the setting the individual is being assessed in. 

  1. Body fat scales use bioelectrical impedance analysis to assess body fat percentage. Electrodes are attached to the hands and feet and the individual stands on electrode pads. A small electrical current is sent through the body to compute the fat content of the body. Electrical currents travel faster through lean tissue than through fat, and it is this difference that is used in this technique. This is a convenient instrument for home use.
  2. Skinfold measurements can be performed using calipers to measure the thickness of the skin in various parts of the body. These readings, along with the body weight are then converted to a body fat percentage. Calipers are normally found in health clubs and physicians offices.
  3. Hydrostatic tanks are used to calculate your body weight underwater after the lungs have been completely emptied. While this form of measurement is accurate, it is not practical in most settings.
  4. Infrared interactance involves shining infrared light through different areas of the body and studying the wavelengths in the spectrum produced. This gives the lean: fat mass ratio.

Ideally, weight loss (or weight gain) programs should not only be targeted at reducing (or increasing) overall weight but should provide some measure of change in lean mass and body fat. A carefully controlled diet and exercise regimen ensures that a healthy body fat percentage is maintained and essential body fat is not lost through unsupervised diet programs.

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