Title of article:
Body mass index and child obesity: are we nearing a definition?
Authors: Poskitt, EM
Journal: Acta Paediatr, May 2000;89(5):507- 509
There is no published abstract for this article. (It is a commentary on another article in Acta Paediatrica.) I have therefore provided this short abstract:
Several paragraphs discuss the need for an "ideal population" to be sampled, so as to avoid bias from sampling the BMI of typical North American populations where over-nutrition and fatness are prevalent. Then, the article discusses a body mass index sample of children from Goteburg, and compares it briefly to a different sample from the Netherlands. Advantages cited were the long follow-up of children in these studies, and the apparent lack of significant overweightness. Then other consideration are mentioned, concerning setting overweight definition based on 85th percentile.
Comments and Key points
This article also commented on the World Health Organization (WHO) and their recent international definition of "overweight" starting at BMI of 25 kg/m2 for both men and women. It stated that the WHO criteria are based on the:
"International Task Force on Obesity1 suggested that adult BMI criteria for overweight/obesity should be used to provide definition of childhood overweight/obesity. The centile cut-off for children would extrapolated back from the cut-off point for overweight/obesity in 18-y-olds (Grades 1 and 2 overweight = BMI 25 and 30 kg/m2, respectively)."
I was looking for a reference stating that the CDC and WHO criteria for overweight at BMI=25, was based on young adults, and this article seems to confirm that Age=18 is it.
This makes it easier for me to disagree with applying BMI=25 as an overweight criteria for all adult ages. I just don’t think an 18-year old’s body composition is a realistic standard for middle-aged or elderly adults to aspire to.
I also found a different reference2, that also says that the WHO criteria are based on Body Mass Index at age 18.
- Dietz WH, Robinson TN. Use of the body mass index (BMI) as a measure of overweight in children and adolescents. J Pediatr 1998; 132:191-3.
- Williams S., Body Mass Index reference curves derived from a New Zealand birth cohort. N Z Med J, Jul 2000;113(1114):308-11