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J Biosoc Sci. 2014 Jan;46(1):47-65. doi: 10.1017/S002193201300014X. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

Variation in height and BMI of adult Indians.

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* Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India.


It is well known that height and weight are interrelated, and that both are related to socioeconomic variables. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of socioeconomic variables on the heights and weights of different groups of people, formed according to different levels of heights and weights, and to see whether there are sex differences in the variations in heights and weights. Data for adults aged 15-49 years were taken from the India National Family Health Survey-3 and descriptive studies and multiple linear regression analyses carried out. A clear positive association was found for height and BMI with economic level (except for overweight females in the case of BMI). In the case of BMI, it is age that seems to be the most influential factor. Surprisingly, the observed changes in height and BMI are not as expected for short and tall or underweight and overweight people; these sometimes behave in the opposite directions to that of normal height and weight people. The basic assumption of multivariate normality is not valid due to changing relations at different height and BMI levels.

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