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close this bookPhysical Status: The Use and Interpretation of Anthropometry - Report of a WHO Expert Committee (WHO - OMS, 1995, 460 p.)
close this folder8. Thin adults
close this folder8.8 Recommendations
View the document8.8.1 For practical implementation
View the document8.8.2 For future research

8.8.2 For future research

Further research is needed in the following areas:

1. To establish more conclusively the validity of BMI cut-off points, by examining the various functional outcomes of low BMI. More precisely, there is a need to document the nature of the relationship between low BMI and immunocompetence as a modulator of susceptibility to infectious diseases and of their severity. Such studies will need to control for confounding factors, notably concomitant micronutrient deficiencies.

2. To assess the value of arm circumference measurement, used alone or in conjunction with BMI, as an indicator of nutritional status and food sufficiency in a community. Such assessment should also address the issue of precision.

3. To evaluate BMI cut-off points for ages 18 to 25 years, for which lower cut-offs may be deemed appropriate.

4. To improve understanding of the effects of low BMI on the composition of lean body mass, e.g. whether the integrity of the mass and composition of lean tissues inevitably compromised by low BMI.

5. To test the usefulness of adult BMI in different settings, especially in populations in which morphotype differs significantly from the norm.

6. To test the usefulness of adult BMI in conjunction with child anthropometry to discriminate between general issues of public health and household food security.