Body fat levels in children and adolescents: Effects on the prevalence of obesity

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State: Public
Version: author
Serval ID
serval:BIB_DC136D24A456
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Body fat levels in children and adolescents: Effects on the prevalence of obesity
Journal
e-SPEN, the European e-Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism
Author(s)
Marques-Vidal Pedro, Marcelino Gisela, Ravasco Paula, Camilo Maria Ermelinda, Oliveira João Miguel
ISSN
1751-4991
Publication state
Published
Issued date
12/2008
Volume
3
Number
6
Pages
e321-e327
Language
english
Abstract
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: There is little information regarding the effect of different definitions of obesity on nutritional epidemiology. The aim was thus to assess: (a) the values of percentage of body fat (%BF) by gender and age; (b) the prevalence of obesity according to different %BF cut-offs; and (c) the sensitivity and specificity of BMI according to different %BF cut-offs used to define obesity.
METHODS: Cross-sectional study on 2494 boys and 2519 girls aged 10­18 years from the Lisbon area. %BF was measured using a hand-held device. In a sub sample of 211 boys and 724 girls %BF was assessed using skin folds.
RESULTS: %BF levels were higher in girls and decreased with age in both genders. Prevalence of obesity varied considerably according to the %BF cut-off used: in boys, it ranged from 4.7% (age-specific 95th percentile) to 26.5% (fixed 25% cut-off), whereas by BMI it was 5.3%. In girls, prevalence of obesity ranged from 0.4% (age-specific BMI-derived %BF values) to 25.4% (fixed 30% cut-off), whereas by BMI it was 4.7%. The specificity of BMI criteria was over 95% irrespective of the %BF cut-off used; conversely, most sensitivities were below 40%. Sensitivities over 50% were obtained for the age-specific BMI-derived %BF values in boys and the age-specific 95th %BF percentile in both genders. Using %BF derived from the skin fold measurements leads to similar results.
CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of obesity varies considerably according to the %BF cut-off used. BMI cut-offs have a low sensitivity but a high specificity. Age- and gender-specific cut-offs for %BF should be used to define pediatric obesity.
Keywords
Child, Adolescent, Body Fat Distribution, Obesity/epidemiology, Overweight/epidemiology, Portugal, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Open Access
Yes
Create date
29/10/2010 10:04
Last modification date
20/08/2019 17:01
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