Predictability and implications of anthropometric indices for metabolic abnormalities in children: nutrition and health survey in Taiwan elementary children, 2001-2002

Shao-Yuan Chuang, Wen-Harn Pan
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009, 18 (2): 272-9

BACKGROUND: To determine whether separate anthropometric screening tools are needed for obesity and the metabolic syndrome in children, we compared the predictability of several anthropometric indices, including waist circumference (WC) and body mass index (BMI), with regard to metabolic disorders.

STUDY DESIGN: The Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan Elementary School Children (2000-2001) collected data from 2,215 children. Logistic regression analysis was used to study the association between anthropometric indices and metabolic abnormalities, which was defined as two or more of the following conditions: high fasting triglycerides, high fasting glucose levels, high blood pressure and low high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol. The receiver operating characteristic curve was used to study the sensitivity and specificity of these anthropometric indices.

RESULTS: predictability was the ranked highest for WC (R2=10.69%), followed by BMI (R2=9.80%), arm girth (R2=9.75%), hip circumference (R2=9.43%), scapular skinfold thickness (R2=9.28%) and waist-to-height ratio (R2=9.25%). Waist circumference or BMI cut-offs for maximal balanced sensitivity and specificity were close to the 60th percentile for each age and gender group. Values were greater in boys than in girls and increased with age.

CONCLUSION: It is justifiable to use the WC criteria to define the metabolic syndrome in children. Due to its practicality, BMI remains the most suitable index for defining overweight/obesity. Only moderate levels of sensitivity and specificity were achieved with these two popular obesity indices with regard to metabolic abnormalities.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"