Warning: these figures indicate the number of cases found in the data file. They cannot be interpreted as summary statistics of the population of interest.
For female household members, HWFBMI (HA40) reports their body mass index (BMI). BMI is an anthropometric measure relating weight to height, equal to body weight (kilograms) divided by height (meters) squared (W/H2). BMI is also known as the Quetelet Index, and it 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:
Normal: 18.5 to 24.9
Mildly thin: 17.0 to 18.4
Moderately thin: 16.0 to 16.9
Severely thin: less than 16.0
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 the DHS. HWFWEIGHT (HA2) reports the female household member's weight in kilograms as measured by DHS personnel; HWFHEIGHT (HA3) reports their 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 HWFROHRER (the female household member's Rohrer's Index, which is equal to body weight (kilograms) divided by height (meters) cubed (W/H3)).