Nepal | July 13, 2020

Overweight army officers lose benefits

Sabitri Dhakal
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Kathmandu, August 28

The Nepali Army has taken action against seven of its staffers after they failed to maintain their body weight.

Among the seven staffers, the army denied three of them promotion and four were not allowed to take part in United Nations missions as their body mass index was too high, said Bigyan Dev Pandey, spokesperson for the Nepali Army.

Body mass index, (BMI) is the measure of body size. It combines a person’s weight with height. BMI screens whether a person is underweight, has healthy weight, excess weight or is obese.

Army officers have to undergo regular physical fitness tests, which includes waist circumference, waist-hip ratio and relative fat mass. Average BMI is calculated on the basis of these.

The army has categorised weight into four groups — obese, overweight, normal and underweight. If the BMI is greater than 30 then it’s obese. If the BMI is within 25.25 to 29.9 then it’s overweight and if it is between 18.5 to 25.25 then it’s normal, but
if it is below 18.5 then it is categorised as underweight. There are separate BMIs for different age groups and sex.

Three months to three years is given to maintain body weight. One year is given to new mothers. If they fail to maintain body weight within the stipulated time they are penalised. If the medical board says personnel are unfit they will be dismissed, he added.

Obese and overweight officers cannot be part of missions abroad said Pandey.
The Nepali Army formulated health procedure for its staffers on 15 February 2018.
Physical fitness is important as one must function effectively during physical work, training, and other activities. Soldiers must have enough energy to handle emergencies that may arise. It’s also not good to have pot-bellied army personnel, Pandey added.

Carrying too much weight can lead to diabetes, stroke, hypertension, cardiovascular problems etc. Therefore not only army personnel, but all should take care of their health. We want all of our staffers healthy, fit and fine, said Pandey.



Ideal BMI

18.5- 24.9               18.5-24.9

(for Female)           (for Male)

Normal BMI

18 to 30          30 to 35    36 to 40          41 to 45                46 to 50                50

years              years           years                                                                   year and above


For Female       Maximum BMI

For Male           Maximum BMI


25.0                25.25           25.5              25.75                       26.0                    26.25

25.25              25.5             25.75               26                        26.25                   26.5

Source: Nepali Army

A version of this article appears in print on August 29, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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