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Body fat percentage, anthropometric obesity indices and cardiometabolic risk in children and adolescents

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sarah CharmanORCiD


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Objectives: Using anthropometric obesity indices to predict the presence of cardiometabolic disorders in children and adolescents is controversial and assessment of fat mass may be a better index of obesity-related health risk. This study therefore explored 1. the ability of proposed obesity cut-offs to identify cardiometabolic disorders and 2. whether body fat% (BF%) is a more useful predictor of cardiometabolic risk than indirect obesity indices in children and adolescents. Study design: This was a cross-sectional design study. Anthropometry, BF% and biochemical parameters (blood pressure, triglycerides, HDLcholesterol and blood glucose) were assessed in 235 participants (122 girls) aged 10–19 year from Bedfordshire, UK. Logistic regression and receiver operating characteristics were used in the analysis. Results: Proposed obesity cut-offs for BF%, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-height ratio (WHTR) identified participants with a greater likelihood of having individual and clustered cardiometabolic disorders. Odds ratios for having _2 risk factors were similar for BF% (3.61; 95% CI 1.71, 7.63), BMI (3.54; 1.67, 7.52), WC (2.95; 1.41, 6.18) and WHTR (3.12; 1.35, 7.23). Conclusion: Measurement of BF% has no advantage over simple anthropometric obesity indices in predicting the presence of cardiometabolic disorders in children and adolescents. In addition, internationally proposed obesity cut-offs for BF%, BMI, WC and WHTR used in this study effectively identified participants at risk of individual and clustered cardiometabolic disorders and may thus be recommended for use in research and clinical settings.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kerr CJ, Savory LA, Denton SJ, Pang D, Kozub SA, Davies B, Bailey DP

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 5th International Congress on Prediabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

Year of Conference: 2013