Concordance of obesity classification between body mass index and percent body fat among school children in Saudi Arabia

Abdulrahman Al-Mohaimeed, Saifuddin Ahmed, Khadiga Dandash, Mohammed Saleh Ismail, Nazmus Saquib

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: In Saudi Arabia, where childhood obesity is a major public health issue, it is important to identify the best tool for obesity classification. Hence, we compared two field methods for their usefulness in epidemiological studies. Methods: The sample consisted of 874 primary school (grade I-IV) children, aged 6-10 years, and was obtained through a multi-stage random sampling procedure. Weight and height were measured, and BMI (kg/m2) was calculated. Percent body fat was determined with a Futrex analyzer that uses near infrared reactance (NIR) technology. Method specific cut-off values were used for obesity classification. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were determined for BMI, and the agreement between BMI and percent body fat was calculated. Results: Compared to boys, the mean BMI was higher in girls whereas the mean percent body fat was lower (p-values <0.0001). According to BMI, the prevalence of overweight or obesity was significantly higher in girls (34.3% vs. 17.3%); as oppose to percent body fat, which was similar between the sexes (6.6% vs. 7.0%). The sensitivity of BMI to classify overweight or obesity was high (boys =93%, girls = 100%); and its false-positive detection rate was also high (boys = 63%, girls = 81%). The agreement rate was low between these two methods (boys = 0.48, girls =0.24). Conclusions: There is poor agreement in obesity classification between BMI and percent body fat, using NIR method, among Saudi school children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 5 2015

Keywords

  • Anthropometry
  • BMI
  • Body mass index
  • Children
  • NIR
  • Near infrared reactance
  • Obesity
  • Percent body fat
  • Saudi Arabia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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