BIOFBMI (V445) reports the female respondent's body mass index (BMI). BMI is an anthropometric measure relating weight to height, equal to body weight (kilograms) divided by height (meters) squared (W/(H^2)). Also known as the Quetelet Index, BMI is a measure of acute nutritional status, based on the Fogarty Metropolitan Life tables of ideal weight for height.
The DHS Guide to Statistics offers the following guidelines for interpreting BMI scores for women age 15-49:
Severely thin: less than 16.0
Moderately thin: 16.0 to 16.9
Mildly thin: 17.0 to 18.4
Normal: 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight: 25.0 to 29.9
Obese: 30.0 or more
The original height and weight values used to calculate BMI are also included in IPUMS-DHS. WEIGHTFEM (V437) reports the respondent's weight in kilograms, as measured by DHS personnel; HEIGHTFEM (V438) reports the person's length or height in centimeters, as measured by DHS personnel.
For an alternate measure of female nutrition, IPUMS-DHS users may also be interested in BIOFROHRER (V446), which reports the respondent's Rohrer's Index. This measure is equal to body weight (kilograms) divided by height (meters) cubed (W/(H^3)).