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Body size classifications according to body mass index (BMI; weight in kg/height in cm2) are typically used to denote weight status, such as underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese. Since 1998, normal weight in the United States has been designated at a BMI range of 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2, as established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, a range which also agrees with the World Health Organization’s definitions. This category is often also called “healthy weight.”

Background

BMI is also known as the Quetelet index after the scientist who derived the measure in the early to mid-1800s, but the term BMI was first used in 1972 by Ancel Keys, a researcher known for his work on the effects of ...

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