Projects and activities

Views on the NHS Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator

The NHS Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator is a standard way to measure whether people have a healthy weight. Your BMI result is displayed as a number with a corresponding category of underweight, a healthy weight, overweight or obese.

Our Healthy Weight HIT public contributors have suggested that the NHS BMI calculator is not culturally sensitive, as perceptions of obesity change from person to person, and between people from different cultures.

The HIT has launched an anonymous survey to find out how people feel about the NHS BMI calculator as a way of measuring overweight and obesity.

Take the survey

Does designing weight management services with under-represented groups work?

Weight management services allow people with obesity to access support related to diet and physical activity to help them lose weight. The services are often run by public health teams in councils.

Weight management services haven’t always benefitted all groups of people equally. As a result, such services can increase health inequalities rather than reduce them.

One possible solution is to design services with under-represented groups, so that the service might better meet their needs. Designing services together in this way is called ‘co-design’.

There are several co-designed weight management services available in the West of England. But it’s not known how well they work or how they have been designed and delivered.

Project aims

This research project is led by NIHR ARC West with Bristol City Council, Swindon Borough Council and two voluntary sector organisations who deliver co-designed weight management services in Bristol and Gloucestershire. It aims to find how well co-designed weight management services work.  Find out more on the NIHR ARC West website.

Useful links

Talking to your child about weight: a guide for parents and caregivers of children aged 4-11 years