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Open AccessArticle

Accuracy of Body Mass Index Cutoffs for Classifying Obesity in Chilean Children and Adolescents

Instituto de Actividad Física y Salud, Universidad Autonoma de Chile, 5 Poniente 1670, Talca, Chile
Faculty of Physical Education, State University of Campinas, Avenida Érico Veríssimo, 701, Cidade Universitária Zeferino Vaz, Barão Geraldo, CEP 13083-851, Campinas, Brazil
Department of Research, Universidad Científica del Sur, Panamericana Sur Km 19 Villa, Lima, Perú
Growth and Development Lab, Center for Investigation in Pediatrics (CIPED), School of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), CEP 13083-887, Campinas-SP, Brazil
Department of Physical Activity Sciences, Catholic University of Maule, Av. San Miguel 3605, Talca, Chile
Research Network on Human Biological Development, Urb. Amauta C-6, Jose Luis Bustamante y Rivero, Arequipa, Peru
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: María M. Morales Suárez-Varela
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(5), 472;
Received: 31 January 2016 / Revised: 13 March 2016 / Accepted: 28 March 2016 / Published: 5 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Adolescents and Nutrition)
Objective: To determine the accuracy of two international Body Mass Index (BMI) cut-offs for classifying obesity compared to the percentage of fat mass (%FM) assessed by Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) in a Chilean sample of children and adolescents; Material and Methods: The subjects studied included 280 children and adolescents (125 girls and 155 boys) aged 8 to 17 years. Weight and height were measured. The BMI was calculated. Two international references (IOFT and WHO) were used as cut-off points. The %FM was assessed by DXA. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to assess the performance of BMI in detecting obesity on the basis of %FM; Results: A high correlation was observed between the %FM measured by the DXA and the Z-scores of IOTF and WHO scores in the Chilean adolescents separated by sex (r = 0.78–0.80). Differences occurred in both references (IOFT and WHO) in relation to the criteria (p < 0.001). Both references demonstrated a good ability to predict sensitivity (between 84% and 93%) and specificity (between 83% and 88%) in both sexes of children and adolescents; Conclusions: A high correlation was observed between the Z-score of the BMI with the percentage of fat determined by the DXA. Despite this, the classifications using the different BMI cut-off points showed discrepancies. This suggests that the cut-off points selected to predict obesity in this sample should be viewed with caution. View Full-Text
Keywords: Body Mass Index; obesity; DXA; cut-off points; Chile Body Mass Index; obesity; DXA; cut-off points; Chile
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Gómez-Campos, R.; David Langer, R.; De Fátima Guimarães, R.; Contiero San Martini, M.; Cossio-Bolaños, M.; De Arruda, M.; Guerra-Júnior, G.; Moreira Gonçalves, E. Accuracy of Body Mass Index Cutoffs for Classifying Obesity in Chilean Children and Adolescents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 472.

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