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BMI and waist circumference - black, Asian and minority ethnic groups

(3rd July 2013)

NICE has issued Public Health Guidance 46 'Assessing body mass index and waist circumference thresholds for intervening to prevent ill health and premature death among adults from black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups in the UK'.

This guidance aimed to determine whether lower cut-off points should be used for black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups in the UK as a trigger for lifestyle interventions to prevent conditions such as diabetes, myocardial infarction or stroke.

The evidence confirms that these groups are at an equivalent risk of diabetes, other health conditions or mortality at a lower BMI than the white European population. But it was not sufficient to make recommendations on the use of new BMI and waist circumference thresholds to classify whether members of these groups are overweight or obese.

As a result, this guidance supports previously published NICE recommendations on diabetes prevention and extends them to black African and African-Caribbean groups. It also highlights recommendations from NICE and other sources in relation to awareness raising, BMI measurement and thresholds that can be used as a trigger for intervening.

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