The Body Mass Index was formalized by the World Health Organization as a public health reference tool to assess the risk factors associated with excess body fat. Overweight and obesity are risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis and are associated with the occurrence of certain types of cancers. The BMI calculation is based on a mathematical formula based on weight and height to calculate an index of adiposity; therefore it is not a direct measure of the amount of fat. However, research has shown that this index has a good correlation with direct quantifications of body fat.
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