Ideal weight of Indian men, women redefined

#GS2 #Health


The ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) has redefined the ideal or reference Indian adult man and woman with regard to age to 19-39 years instead of 20-39 years. The body weight has been put at 65 kg for men and 55 kg for women while earlier, it was 60 kg and 50 kg respectively, which are a decade-old.

  • This is based on the latest nationally representative data sourced from the National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4, 2015-16), National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB, 2015-16), the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2006-07) and the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP 2015) to “derive acceptable reference body weight values through the lifespan”.
  • In the ‘Recommended Dietary Allowances’ and ‘Nutrient Requirements’ report prepared by NIN, the city-based nodal agency for recommending dietary allowances and nutrient requirements for Indians, includes Estimated Average Requirements (EARs) and Tolerable Upper Limits of nutrients for the first time.


Dietary intake

  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) are daily dietary nutrient intake levels which would be sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all healthy individuals while EARs are the average daily nutrient intake levels of the population.
  • The cereal-legume-milk composition of the diet for a moderately active man has been improved to 3:1:2.5 as compared to the earlier 11:1:3 within a given low cost window to meet daily protein requirements.
  • Visible fat intake for sedentary, moderate and heavy activity has been set at 25 gm, 30 gm and 40 gm a day for adult man and 20 gm, 25 gm and 30 gm a day for adult women as against the single level recommended earlier.
  • For the first time, fiber based on energy intake was recommended and the level of about 40 gm/2000 kcal has been considered as safe intake. For carbohydrates, the EAR has been set at 100 gm/day for ages 1 and above with a RDA of 130 gm/day.
  • With regard to sodium due to emerging concerns on prevalence of hypertension a safe intake of 2000 mg/day which amounts to 5 gm/day of salt is recommended; while an intake of 3,510 mg/day is recommended for potassium.
  • For children, the requirement is greater than 60 ml per kg body mass and for adolescent boys it ranges from 47-60 ml per kg body mass, while, for girls it is 39-49 ml per kg body mass.
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