BMI for Indian Men

Latest BMI Figures for Men in

Latest data on BMI (Body Mass Index) for Indian Men reveals some great facts. 

The nutritional landscape of India’s male population has often been a subject of extensive study and concern, and the latest data from 2019-21 provides us with some critical insights. The numbers not only tell a story of diversity in body mass index (BMI) across different demographics but also highlight the ongoing challenges and progress in the country’s public health initiatives.

The BMI Spectrum

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple calculation using a person’s height and weight. The BMI categories help in understanding the prevalence of underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obesity within a population. For Indian men aged 15-49, the spectrum is as follows:

  1. Thin (<17.0 BMI): The data shows that 2.3% of the surveyed men fall into the thin category, raising concerns about undernutrition in this subset.
  2. Normal (17.0-18.4 BMI)**: With 21.0% of men in this category, it represents a significant portion of the population that maintains a BMI considered normal by health standards.
  3. Overweight/Obese (≥25.0 BMI)**: The combined category of overweight and obese individuals stands at 23.9%, which is indicative of the rising trends of obesity, a leading risk factor for many non-communicable diseases.

Age Matters for BMI for Indian Men

Age is a determinant factor in nutritional status, and the data corroborates this:

  1. Aged 15-19: Younger males show a higher prevalence of lower BMI, with 8.1% being thin and only 19.9% overweight or obese.
  2. Aged 30-49: This age bracket shows an increased tendency towards higher BMI, with only 2.0% being thin but a concerning 26.9% overweight or obese.

Marital Status as a Nutritional Indicator for Indian Men

An intriguing aspect of the data is the relationship between marital status and BMI:

  1. Never Married: Men who have never married have the highest percentage of thin individuals at 3.1% and the lowest of overweight/obese at 19.9%.
  2. Currently Married: This group has a lower percentage of thin men at 2.1% but a higher prevalence of overweight/obese individuals at 25.6%.
  3. Widowed/Separated/Divorced: They have the least percentage of thin men at 1.3% but do not necessarily have the highest percentage of overweight/obese, which stands at 23.6%.

Education and Nutrition in Indian Men

Education level seems to be closely linked with nutritional status:

  1. No Schooling: Men with no formal education have the highest percentage of being thin at 3.5% and a lower percentage of being overweight/obese at 15.0%.
  2. 12 or more years complete: In contrast, men with 12 or more years of education have a lower percentage of being thin at 1.5% but a higher prevalence of overweight/obesity at 32.0%.

Rural vs. Urban Divide in Indian Men

The rural-urban divide in India is a well-known phenomenon and it extends to nutritional health as well:

  1. Rural: In rural areas, the thinness percentage is higher at 2.5% compared to urban areas, with a lower overweight/obese percentage at 21.9%.
  2. Urban: Urban men have a lower percentage of being thin at 1.8% but a concerning overweight/obese percentage at 28.7%.

The data reveals a multifaceted picture of nutritional health among Indian men, affected by age, marital status, education, and rural-urban residence. While undernutrition remains a concern, particularly among younger and less educated men, the rise in overweight and obesity rates, especially in urban areas and among the more educated, signals a need for targeted public health interventions.

As India continues to develop, the shifting nutritional patterns call for a balanced approach to address both ends of the BMI spectrum. Ensuring food security and promoting healthy lifestyles are crucial steps towards a healthier future for India’s men.


The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2019-2021


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