BMI unit set up at DHS in Thiruvananthapuram – The Hindu


A Body Mass Index (BMI) unit has been set up at the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) here on a pilot basis as part of the campaign to promote healthy lifestyle and prevent non-communicable diseases.

The BMI Unit, which facilitates the measurement of body weight and height and the calculation of BMI, was inaugurated by Health Minister Veena George on Thursday.

BMI is a screening tool which indicates whether a person is underweight, has a healthy weight or if he/she has excess weight or obesity. If a person’s BMI is outside of the healthy range, his/her health risks might increase significantly.

A BMI of less than 18.5 indicates that the individual is underweight, while a BMI of 18.5–24.9 is said to be a healthy range.

A BMI of over 25 indicates that the person is slightly overweight and is a warning sign that unless the body weight is maintained in the healthy range, his risks of developing diabetes or such lifestyle diseases can go up. A BMI of over 30 would mean that the person is dangerously overweight or obese, heightening the health risks.

The Health department proposes to set up such units at workplaces and factories across the State to encourage people to keep checking their body weight and be forewarned about the health risks if they do not maintain their weight in the healthy range.

The department is currently screening the State’s entire population above 30 years for assessing their health risks. Health workers are visiting homes to screen people for lifestyle diseases and guide people correctly on how they can avail themselves of medical care and follow-up treatment for managing their health risks.

A statement issued by the department said that in the past six weeks of launching the campaign, close to 9 lakh people have been screened.

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