Comments for adolescents overweight body mass index
This article indicates that the current CDC criteria for defining overweight and obesity, are generous to adolescents, by letting kids be fatter than necessary before labelling them as overweight or obese.
The body fat percentage criteria they used were:
– "at risk of overweight" is body fat >= 20% for boys and >=25% for girls.
– "overweight" is body fat >= 25% for boys and >=30% for girls.
Notice that they are using the kind & gentle terminology, but in reality,
"at risk of overweight" (in kids) means the same as "overweight" in adults.
"overweight" (in kids) means the same as "obese" in adults.
This article shows some data comparing adolescents BMI between different countries, and different races. It lists the sensitivity and specificity of the cut-off criteria for all these different sets of data from different countries and races. In most cases, the specificities listed are above 90% ( which is very good), and the sensitivities are a little lower.
For "overweight" (obesity), the sensitivities are generally in the 70s% range, which is also quite good. For "overweight", the sensitivities are a bit too low, around 50%.
So, I personally conclude that the 85th percentile line is a good body mass index cut-off threshold for adolescents, but the 95th percentile line threshold is probably a bit too high for adolescents.
- Spear BA, Barlow SE et al. Recommendations for treatment of child and adolescent overweight and obesity. Pediatrics. 2007 120:S254-88.
- Krebs NF, Himes JH et al. Assessment of child and adolescent overweight and obesity. Pediatrics. 2007 120:S193-228.
Notes. From reference 2, the 2007 publications in Pediatrics, it appears that experts have switched back to calling “Obesity” at BMI cutoff of 30, AND also “Obesity” at BMI above 95th percentile, whichever is smaller.