Validity of different methods for assessing overweight among children aged 6-10 years in Kolkata, India

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Research Article

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Malaysian Journal of Nutrition


Introduction: Various anthropometric measures including Body Mass Index (BMI) are used to assess overweight among children. The aim of the study was to assess the validity and compare the performance of different methods for assessing overweight children aged 6-10 years in Kolkata, India, taking BMI as standard. Methods: A total number of 5216 children (2738 girls and 2478 boys) were selected using multistage stratified sampling. Data collection was carried out from September 2013 to October 2014 by a team of trained researchers. Results: Prevalence of over nourished children was 32.4%. Sensitivity value was noticeably low for the fitness gram (FG) method, which was assessed by skinfold thickness at different body sites, but high for waist circumference (WC) and WC to height ratio (WHR). Low specificity was observed for weight-for-age (WAZ) and FG. Both positive and negative predictive values were high for WAZ and FG results, where positive/negative predictive values were the proportion of correct prediction among positive/negative prediction. High negative predictive values and low positive predictive values were observed for WC and WHR measures. Conclusion: This study suggests that if BMI measures are not available, other measures, namely waist circumference (WC) and WC-to-height ratio (WHR) can be used as proxy indicators for overweight among children.

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