Journal of Obesity
Article ID 421658
Adiposity; Cardiovascular Diseases--prevention & control; Pediatric Obesity--prevention & control; Students; Waist-Height Ratio
Convention defines pediatric adiposity by the body mass index -score (BMIz) referenced to normative growth charts. Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) does not depend on sex-and-age references. In the HEALTHY Study enrollment sample, we compared BMIz with WHtR for ability to identify adverse cardiometabolic risk. Among 5,482 sixth-grade students from 42 middle schools, we estimated explanatory variations (R2) and standardized beta coefficients of BMIz or WHtR for cardiometabolic risk factors: insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), lipids, blood pressures, and glucose. For each risk outcome variable, we prepared adjusted regression models for four subpopulations stratified by sex and high versus lower fatness. For HOMA-IR, R2 attributed to BMIz or WHtR was 19%–28% among high-fatness and 8%–13% among lower-fatness students. for lipid variables was 4%–9% among high-fatness and 2%–7% among lower-fatness students. In the lower-fatness subpopulations, the standardized coefficients for total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol and triglycerides tended to be weaker for BMIz (0.13–0.20) than for WHtR (0.17–0.28). Among high-fatness students, BMIz and WHtR correlated with blood pressures for Hispanics and whites, but not black boys (systolic) or girls (systolic and diastolic). In 11-12 year olds, assessments by WHtR can provide cardiometabolic risk estimates similar to conventional BMIz without requiring reference to a normative growth chart.
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Kahn, H.S., El Ghormli, L., Jago, R., Foster, G.D., McMurray, R. et al. (2014). Cardiometabolic risk assessments by body mass index z-score or waist-to-height ratio in a multiethnic sample of sixth-graders. Journal of Obesity: 421658.