Science Journal of Sociology and Anthropology

November 2011, Volume 2011,ISSN:2276-6359

Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article


New reference values of body mass index for rural pre-school children of Bengalee ethnicity

Kaushik Bose*, Sadar Biswas and Samiran Bisai

Department of Anthropology, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, India

Accepted 27 September 2011; Available Online November 2011


Objective: There exists no ethnic-specific reference percentile values of body mass index (BMI) for pre-school children of Bengalee ethnicity. The research attempted to develop age and gender –specific reference values of BMI for pre-school children of Bengalee ethnicity.
Setting: This cross-sectional study was undertaken on 2016 Bengalee children (930 boys and 1086 girls) from Chapra Block of Nadia District, West Bengal, India.
Methods: Weight and height were measured and BMI was computed. The BMI values were smoothed and gender specific reference percentile curves were developed using the LMS method.
Results: For boys and girls, the median BMI at age three years were 14.94 kg/m2 and 14.59 kg/m2, respectively. These values decreased with advancement of age in both sexes. The L, M, S values, and age and sex specific percentile values were developed. Results showed that median BMI at all ages were lower than WHO reference medians.
Conclusion: The proposed values may be useful in evaluating growth and nutritional status of rural Bengalee preschool children. They may also be used for comparisons with other ethnic groups.

Keyword: Reference curve values; BMI; Preschool; Bengalee; India.