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Monitoring Changes In Weight Using Mid Upper Arm Circumference

If you are unable to weigh someone, measuring mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) is a way to determine if they are losing or gaining body weight.

  • Mid upper arm circumference does not correspond to a specific body weight
  • Changes in mid upper arm circumference may indicate changes in body weight. E.g: If mid upper arm circumference changes by 5% then it is likely that body weight has changed by approximately by 5%
  • Mid upper arm circumference provides an indication of whether a BMI is likely to be below 20 kg/m2, i.e whether they are likely to be underweight

The mid upper arm circumference video below explains how to measure an individual's mid upper arm circumference.

To practice determining an individual's mid upper arm circumference, complete the mid upper arm circumference activity sheet.