COMPARISON OF INTERNATIONAL OBESITY TASKFORCE CUTOFFS, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION GROWTH CHARTS, AND BODY MASS INDEX Z-SCORE VALUES IN THE PREVALENCE OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY: THE GREEK OBESITY AND LIFESTYLE STUDY
OBJECTIVE: Few epidemiologic studies have compared classification methods of childhood obesity. The aim of the Greek Obesity and Lifestyle Study (GOALS) was to assess the prevalence of childhood obesity by comparing 3 classification methods.
METHODS: The GOALS was conducted on a representative sample of 2056 students (1148 boys and 908 girls), aged to 13 years. Body mass and height were measured, and the BMI (kg/m2) was calculated. The comparisons of obesity prevalence were based on International Obesity Taskforce (IOTF) cutoffs, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts and BMI-for-age z scores (overweight ≥1 SD, obese ≥2 SD).
RESULTS: The higher prevalence of obesity (including overweight) in GOALS was found by using the CDC growth charts (37.6%), whereas the obesity prevalence classified according to the IOTF cutoffs was recorded 1% lower (36.6%). In relation to CDC and IOTF classifications, significant lower prevalence was reported when obesity was estimated as BMI-for-age z scores (15.2%). Adjusted by gender, the Analysis of variance results showed that the obesity prevalence was significantly higher in boys in both CDC and IOTF classifications compared with BMI-for-age z scores.
CONCLUSIONS: The comparison among studies in Greece shows that the prevalence of childhood obesity in GOALS, based on both IOTF and CDC classifications, is the highest ever recorded in Greece and almost similar with the obesity prevalence reported in US teenagers. The lower obesity prevalence recorded in GOALS using the BMI-for-age z scores, compared with IOTF and CDC classifications, did not appropriately specify childhood obesity and cannot be used for public health applications.
Submitted by Nikolaos Mantzouranis
- Copyright © 2008 by the American Academy of Pediatrics