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 July 23, 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 July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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