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India’s BMI Weight Allows For 5 More Kilos For Women In 2020. And No, This Isn’t Because We Binged On Fries

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If I have gained anything in the lockdown, it is a few extra pounds. This is actually crazy because earlier I used to think that eating outside and ordering in was the bane of my chubby existence but I actually gained more weight during the lockdown when I was having only healthy, homecooked food. So, I did a little research and I came to know that your weight gain isn’t about what you eat but it rather depends on the nutritional intake and the kind of lifestyle you are living. And it could be defined by BMI.

In the last 10 years, the nutritional intake of Indian people has gone up which has resulted in change in average weight and height of men and women. This is the reason why The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) has added 5 kgs to the ideal weight for men and women. The ideal weight for men which was 60 kg in 2010 has now been increased to 65 kg and for women, it has been increased to 55 kg from 50 kg in 2010. Also, the average height has been increased from 5 feet 6 inches (171 cm) in 2010 to 5 feet 8 inches (177 cm) in 2020 for men and from 5 feet (152 cm) in 2010 to 5 feet 3 inches (162 cm) for women in 2020.

The change in weight and height also changes the body mass index (BMI) of men and women in India, which states the body fat based on your height and weight. This year’s data shows that the nutritional intake of people in India has increased over the last 10 years and thus the BMI had to be changed. This includes both urban and rural areas of the country. So, it’s not the lockdown binge, but the eating habits over the decade that has increased the ideal weight of men and women by 5 kgs.

Also Read: Our Assumption About What Is Attractive To Men Is All Wrong. Science Says You Place Too Much Importance On Your Weight, He Doesn’t

The 2010 data only showed the nutritional intake of people in urban areas from 10 states and set the ideal weight at 60 kg and 50 kg for men and women respectively. This was inaccurate as rural areas weren’t taken into account. The expert panel in the 2020 study took data from all over India, referring to the data over the span of last 15 years including the World Health Organisation (2006-07), National Family Health Survey 4 (2015-16), National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (2015-16) and the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (2015) to get the ideal body weight data and BMI for people in India in 2020.

BMI helps calculate the right weight according to your height and tells if you are underweight, normal, overweight or obese. The prescribed position of the BMI also influenced by age, gender and ethnicity and thus it is different for men and women, children and adults and people from different ethnicity. In India, the change in height and weight has been made for a reference adult man and woman, the age of whom has also been changed in the 2020 report. In the recent data, the age for a reference man and woman lie between 19 to 39 years which was set at 20 to 39 years in 2010.

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) has also been revised by the NIN for an adult man and woman in India and it goes like this. The fat intake proposed as RDA for a man with low, medium and heavy activity is 25, 30 and 40 grams per day respectively and for a woman, it is 20, 25 and 30 respectively. The proposed calcium requirement for both men and women is 1000 mg, which was 600 mg in according to the 2010 data. For lactating and post-menopausal women, it is 1200 mg per day. Similarly, the required salt intake according to RDA is 5 grams per day for both men and women, with sodium intake of 2 grams is recommended per day.

This increase in weight and height simply translates to the change in lifestyle and daily food patterns of people in India that has changed drastically over the last 10 years. And obviously, you can thank the sudden rise in sumptuous food trends all over our social media feeds. And, then there’s using food as a coping mechanism for boredom or sadness. Have we been binge eating after all? Oh well!

Also Read: Studies Reveal More Than 50% Women Have Gained Weight During The Lockdown. Looks Like All Those Fries Are Adding Up


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