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Long, Andrew E.; Prewitt, T. E.; Kaufman, Jay S.; Rotimi, Charles N.; Cooper, Richard S.; & McGee, Daniel L. (1998). Weight-Height Relationships among Eight Populations of West African Origin: The Case against Constant BMI Standards. International Journal of Obesity, 22(9), 842-846.


Objective: To ascertain whether constant body mass index (BMI) standards are appropriate in genetically similar populations.
Design: Data are taken from the International Collaborative Study of Hypertension in Blacks (ICSHIB), an observational study.
Subjects: Individuals of African descent who were included in ICSHIB. Subjects lived in eight different sites: Barbados; Cameroon (urban and rural); Jamaica; Manchester, UK; Maywood, IL; urban Nigeria; and St Lucia.
Measurements: Weight and height.
Results: Constant BMI standards effectively argue for the constancy of slope of the linear regression equations of In(weight) on In(height) across populations. Linear regression results indicate that the height/weight relationship implied by the use of constant BMI standards, is not found in these populations and that there is much variation across groups.
Conclusion: The use of constant BMI standards in classifying individuals prognostically may be unwise, even in genetically similar populations.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

International Journal of Obesity


Long, Andrew E.
Prewitt, T. E.
Kaufman, Jay S.
Rotimi, Charles N.
Cooper, Richard S.
McGee, Daniel L.