Developing waist-to-height ratio cut-offs to define overweight and obesity in children and adolescents

Nambiar, Smita, Hughes, Ian and Davies, Peter S. W. (2010) Developing waist-to-height ratio cut-offs to define overweight and obesity in children and adolescents. Public Health Nutrition, 13 10: 1566-1574. doi:10.1017/S1368980009993053

Author Nambiar, Smita
Hughes, Ian
Davies, Peter S. W.
Title Developing waist-to-height ratio cut-offs to define overweight and obesity in children and adolescents
Journal name Public Health Nutrition   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1368-9800
Publication date 2010
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S1368980009993053
Volume 13
Issue 10
Start page 1566
End page 1574
Total pages 10
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics
1117 Public Health and Health Services
Abstract OBJECTIVE: The waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) assesses abdominal adiposity and has been proposed to be of greater value in predicting obesity-related cardiovascular health risks in children than BMI. The present study aims to develop WHtR cut-offs for overweight and obesity based on the 85th and 95th percentiles for the percentage body fat (%BF) in a cohort of children and adolescents. DESIGN: Waist circumference (WC), height, triceps and subscapular skinfolds were used to calculate WHtR and %BF. Correlations between WHtR and %BF and WHtR/mid-abdominal skinfold were made. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to select WHtR cut-offs to define overweight and obesity. Subjects were grouped by WHtR cut-offs, and mean values for anthropometry, blood lipids and blood pressure (BP) variables were compared. SETTING: Australian primary and secondary schools. SUBJECTS: A total of 2773 male (M) and female (F) subjects of the 1985 Australian Health and Fitness Survey, aged 8-16 years. RESULTS: Correlation coefficients between WHtR and %BF were M: r = 0·73, F: r = 0·60, P < 0·01 and WHtR/mid-abdominal skinfold were M: r = 0·78, F: r = 0·65, P < 0·01. WHtR of 0·46(M) and 0·45(F) best identified subjects with ≥85th percentile for %BF and 0·48(M) and 0·47(F) identified subjects with ≥95th percentile for %BF. When comparing the highest WHtR group to the lowest, both sexes had significantly higher means for weight, WC, %BF, TG (male subjects only), systolic BP (female subjects only) and lower means for HDL cholesterol (P < 0·05). CONCLUSIONS: WHtR is useful in clinical and population health as it identifies children with higher %BF at greater risk of developing weight-related CVD at an earlier age.
Keyword Children Obesity
Cardiovascular comorbidities
WHtR cut-offs
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online by Cambridge University Press 26 Jan 2010

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Tue, 20 Apr 2010, 11:38:14 EST by Lisa Hennell on behalf of Paediatrics & Child Health - RBWH