Our Global Network is dedicated to funding research and health education programmes into the links between food, nutrition, physical activity, body fatness and cancer risk.
Be as lean as possible within the normal range1 of body weight
Public health goals
- Median adult body mass index (BMI) to be between 21 and 23, depending on the normal range for different populations2
- The proportion of the population that is overweight or obese to be no more than the current level, or preferably lower, in 10 years
- Ensure that body weight through childhood and adolescent growth projects3 towards the lower end of the normal BMI range at age 21
- Maintain body weight within the normal range from age 21
- Avoid weight gain and increases in waist circumference throughout adulthood
1 'Normal range' refers to appropriate ranges issued by national governments or the World Health Organization
2 To minimise the proportion of the population outside the normal range
3 'Projects' in this context means following a pattern of growth (weight and height) throughout childhood that leads to adult BMI at the lower end of the normal range. Such patterns of growth are specified in International Obesity Task Force and WHO growth reference charts
For more details see Chapter 12 in our resource downloads section.