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Racial/ethnic differences in body fatness among children and adolescents.
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 May; 16(5):1105-11.O

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Although the BMI is widely used as a measure of adiposity, it is a measure of excess weight, and its association with body fatness may differ across racial or ethnic groups.

OBJECTIVE

To determine whether differences in body fatness between white, black, Hispanic, and Asian children vary by BMI-for-age, and whether the accuracy of overweight (BMI-for-age>or=Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 95th percentile) as an indicator of excess adiposity varies by race/ethnicity.

METHODS AND PROCEDURES

Total body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) provided estimates of %body fat among 1,104 healthy 5- to 18-year-olds.

RESULTS

At equivalent levels of BMI-for-age, black children had less (mean, 3%) body fatness than white children, and Asian girls had slightly higher (1%) levels of %body fat than white girls. These differences, however, varied by BMI-for-age, with the excess body fatness of Asians evident only among relatively thin children. The ability of overweight to identify girls with excess body fatness also varied by race/ethnicity. Of the girls with excess body fatness, 89% (24/27) of black girls, but only 50% (8/16) of Asian girls, were overweight (P=0.03). Furthermore, the proportion of overweight girls who had excess body fatness varied from 62% (8/13) among Asians to 100% (13/13) among whites.

DISCUSSION

There are racial or ethnic differences in body fatness among children, but these differences vary by BMI-for-age. If race/ethnicity differences in body fatness among adults also vary by BMI, it may be difficult to develop race-specific BMI cut points to identify equivalent levels of %body fat.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. DFreedman@CDC.govNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18309298

Citation

Freedman, David S., et al. "Racial/ethnic Differences in Body Fatness Among Children and Adolescents." Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), vol. 16, no. 5, 2008, pp. 1105-11.
Freedman DS, Wang J, Thornton JC, et al. Racial/ethnic differences in body fatness among children and adolescents. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008;16(5):1105-11.
Freedman, D. S., Wang, J., Thornton, J. C., Mei, Z., Pierson, R. N., Dietz, W. H., & Horlick, M. (2008). Racial/ethnic differences in body fatness among children and adolescents. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 16(5), 1105-11. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2008.30
Freedman DS, et al. Racial/ethnic Differences in Body Fatness Among Children and Adolescents. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008;16(5):1105-11. PubMed PMID: 18309298.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Racial/ethnic differences in body fatness among children and adolescents. AU - Freedman,David S, AU - Wang,Jack, AU - Thornton,John C, AU - Mei,Zuguo, AU - Pierson,Richard N,Jr AU - Dietz,William H, AU - Horlick,Mary, Y1 - 2008/02/28/ PY - 2008/3/1/pubmed PY - 2008/7/31/medline PY - 2008/3/1/entrez SP - 1105 EP - 11 JF - Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) JO - Obesity (Silver Spring) VL - 16 IS - 5 N2 - BACKGROUND: Although the BMI is widely used as a measure of adiposity, it is a measure of excess weight, and its association with body fatness may differ across racial or ethnic groups. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether differences in body fatness between white, black, Hispanic, and Asian children vary by BMI-for-age, and whether the accuracy of overweight (BMI-for-age>or=Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 95th percentile) as an indicator of excess adiposity varies by race/ethnicity. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Total body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) provided estimates of %body fat among 1,104 healthy 5- to 18-year-olds. RESULTS: At equivalent levels of BMI-for-age, black children had less (mean, 3%) body fatness than white children, and Asian girls had slightly higher (1%) levels of %body fat than white girls. These differences, however, varied by BMI-for-age, with the excess body fatness of Asians evident only among relatively thin children. The ability of overweight to identify girls with excess body fatness also varied by race/ethnicity. Of the girls with excess body fatness, 89% (24/27) of black girls, but only 50% (8/16) of Asian girls, were overweight (P=0.03). Furthermore, the proportion of overweight girls who had excess body fatness varied from 62% (8/13) among Asians to 100% (13/13) among whites. DISCUSSION: There are racial or ethnic differences in body fatness among children, but these differences vary by BMI-for-age. If race/ethnicity differences in body fatness among adults also vary by BMI, it may be difficult to develop race-specific BMI cut points to identify equivalent levels of %body fat. SN - 1930-7381 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18309298/Racial/ethnic_differences_in_body_fatness_among_children_and_adolescents_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2008.30 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -