Open Access Recommendations for the use of body mass index for the classification of overweight and obese children and adolescents

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Brazilian national data were used to compare body mass index (BMI) cutoff values proposed by Cole et al. (2000), which are based on statistical criteria of continuity to adult cutoff values, and those proposed by Must et al. (1991), which are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the cutoff points proposed by each author, 5,736 children and adolescents were classified as of normal weight, overweight, or obese. These classifications were compared by 3 × 3 tables, and a kappa index and a confidence interval were calculated. The good concordance (kappa = 0.82) between the two cutoff values supports the hypothesis that studies on the prevalence of childhood obesity and overweight based on these two different methods can be compared. However, some differences in classification can arise when these methods are used to classify individuals. Further studies to evaluate morbidity and mortality and the classification of obesity in children and adolescents are necessary.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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