Contact address: World Health Organization
1Department of Nutrition for Health and Development (NHD) The WHO Global Database on BMI 20 Avenue Appia CH-1211 , Geneva, 27, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 791 4156 Email: , firstname.lastname@example.org
The WHO Global Database on Body Mass Index (BMI) is now available on line at http://www.who.int/bmi/index.jsp (directly) or http://www.who.int/nutrition/en/ (through the WHO Nutrition homepage).
The Database provides both national and sub-national adult underweight, overweight and obesity prevalence rates by country, year of survey and gender. The information is presented interactively as maps, tables, graphs and downloadable documents.
It was initiated as part of WHO's commitment to implementing the recommendations of the WHO Expert Consultation on Obesity: Preventing and Managing the Global Epidemic (Geneva, 3–5 June 1997), which identified the lack of nationally representative cross-sectional data as an obstacle for facilitating international comparisons of adulthood obesity rates, monitoring the magnitude of the current and future obesity problems, and evaluating the effectiveness of intervention strategies. During the last four years, the Database has evolved, in close collaboration with FAO, as a global interactive surveillance tool to monitor nutrition transition, covering and reporting on the entire spectrum of adult nutritional status.
This unique surveillance system also incorporates food availability data from the FAOSTAT Database, thereby providing a valuable contribution to an ongoing inter-agency work on monitoring food insecurity and vulnerability which was developed as follow-up to the World Food Summit (Rome, 1996). The Dietary Energy Supply (DES) data are displayed in conjunction with the BMI data on the maps and in the charts. DES figures are produced by FAO based on Food Balance Sheets (FBS).
The further development of the Database is underway. These include: