Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

BMI measurement may be missing 25 percent of children who could be considered obese

Date:
June 24, 2014
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Physicians using body mass index (BMI) to diagnose children as obese may be missing 25 percent of kids who have excess body fat despite a normal BMI, which can be a serious concern for long-term health, according to a study. The researchers found that BMI has high specificity in identifying pediatric obesity, meaning BMI accurately identifies children who are obese, but has a moderate sensitivity, meaning the BMI tool misses children who actually should be considered obese, according to the percent of fat in their bodies.

Physicians using body mass index (BMI) to diagnose children as obese may be missing 25 percent of kids who have excess body fat despite a normal BMI, which can be a serious concern for long-term health, according to a Mayo Clinic study published online in Pediatric Obesity.

The researchers found that BMI has high specificity in identifying pediatric obesity, meaning BMI accurately identifies children who are obese, but has a moderate sensitivity, meaning the BMI tool misses children who actually should be considered obese, according to the percent of fat in their bodies.

"If we are using BMI to find out which children are obese, it works if the BMI is high, but what about the children who have a normal BMI but do have excess fat? Those parents may get a false sense of reassurance that they do not need to focus on a better weight for their children," says Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D., senior study author and director of preventive cardiology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

In the meta-analysis, the researchers used 37 eligible studies that evaluated 53,521 patients, ages 4 through 18. It is the first systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the diagnostic performance of BMI to identify excess body fat as compared with techniques considered reference standard to measure obesity. These other techniques include skin-fold thickness measurement and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, which can be used to measure body composition and fat content.

It is known that childhood obesity can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, says Asma Javed, M.D., the study's first author and a pediatric endocrinology fellow at Mayo Clinic Children's Center. "Our research raises the concern that we very well may be missing a large group of children who potentially could be at risk for these diseases as they get older," Dr. Javed says. "We hope our results shine a light on this issue for physicians, parents, public health officials and policymakers."

While not part of this study, its results mirror what has been found in Dr. Lopez-Jimenez's research of adults. Over several years of research, he and investigators discovered what they call normal weight obesity (NWO), wherein adults have a normal BMI but a large percentage of body fat. NWO shares some of the risks of obesity, which can lead to pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular death. "The lesson is that we need additional research in children to determine the potential impact of having high fat in the setting of normal BMI to recognize this issue and perhaps justify the use of body composition techniques to detect obesity at an early stage," he says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. The original article was written by Traci Klein. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "BMI measurement may be missing 25 percent of children who could be considered obese." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624135759.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2014, June 24). BMI measurement may be missing 25 percent of children who could be considered obese. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624135759.htm
Mayo Clinic. "BMI measurement may be missing 25 percent of children who could be considered obese." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624135759.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WHO Calls for Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

WHO Calls for Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

AFP (Aug. 26, 2014) The World Health Organization called Tuesday on governments should ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, warning that they pose a "serious threat" to foetuses and young people. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A study published in the journal "Neurology" interviewed more than 19,000 people and found 15 percent suffer from being "sleep drunk." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A new study found fewer deaths from prescription drug overdoses in states that have legalized medical marijuana. But experts disagree on the results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Official: British Ebola Sufferer Receiving Experimental Drug

Official: British Ebola Sufferer Receiving Experimental Drug

AFP (Aug. 26, 2014) A British nurse infected with Ebola while working in Sierra Leone is being given the same experimental drug used on two US missionaries who have recovered for the disease, doctors in London say. Duration: 00:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins