Logo of archdischArchives of Disease in ChildhoodVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Arch Dis Child. Feb 2000; 82(2): 107–112.
PMCID: PMC1718204

Body index measurements in 1996-7 compared with 1980


OBJECTIVES—To compare the distribution of body mass index (BMI) in a national representative study in The Netherlands in 1996-7 with that from a study in 1980.
METHODS—Cross sectional data on height, weight, and demographics of 14 500 boys and girls of Dutch origin, aged 0-21 years, were collected from 1996 to 1997. BMI references were derived using the LMS method. The 90th, 50th, and 10th BMI centiles of the 1980 study were used as baseline. Association of demographic variables with BMI-SDS was assessed by ANOVA.
RESULTS—BMI age reference charts were constructed. From 3 years of age onwards 14-22% of the children exceeded the 90th centile of 1980, 52-60% the 50th centile, and 92-95% the 10th centile. BMI was related to region, educational level of parents (negatively) and family size (negatively). The −0.9, +1.1, and +2.3 SD lines in 1996-7 corresponded to the adult cut off points of 20, 25,and 30 kg/m2 recommended by the World Health Organisation/European childhood obesity group.
CONCLUSION—BMI age references have increased in the past 17 years. Therefore, strategies to prevent obesity in childhood should be a priority in child public health.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (162K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Prentice AM. Body mass index standards for children. Are useful for clinicians but not yet for epidemiologists. BMJ. 1998 Nov 21;317(7170):1401–1402. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Rolland-Cachera MF, Bellisle F, Sempe M. The prediction in boys and girls of the weight/height index and various skinfold measurements in adults: a two-decade follow-up study. Int J Obes. 1989;13(3):305–311. [PubMed]
  • Dietz WH, Robinson TN. Use of the body mass index (BMI) as a measure of overweight in children and adolescents. J Pediatr. 1998 Feb;132(2):191–193. [PubMed]
  • Cole TJ, Freeman JV, Preece MA. Body mass index reference curves for the UK, 1990. Arch Dis Child. 1995 Jul;73(1):25–29. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hammer LD, Kraemer HC, Wilson DM, Ritter PL, Dornbusch SM. Standardized percentile curves of body-mass index for children and adolescents. Am J Dis Child. 1991 Mar;145(3):259–263. [PubMed]
  • Leung SS, Cole TJ, Tse LY, Lau JT. Body mass index reference curves for Chinese children. Ann Hum Biol. 1998 Mar-Apr;25(2):169–174. [PubMed]
  • Lindgren G, Strandell A, Cole T, Healy M, Tanner J. Swedish population reference standards for height, weight and body mass index attained at 6 to 16 years (girls) or 19 years (boys). Acta Paediatr. 1995 Sep;84(9):1019–1028. [PubMed]
  • Rolland-Cachera MF, Cole TJ, Sempé M, Tichet J, Rossignol C, Charraud A. Body Mass Index variations: centiles from birth to 87 years. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1991 Jan;45(1):13–21. [PubMed]
  • Cole TJ, Roede MJ. Centiles of body mass index for Dutch children aged 0-20 years in 1980--a baseline to assess recent trends in obesity. Ann Hum Biol. 1999 Jul-Aug;26(4):303–308. [PubMed]
  • White EM, Wilson AC, Greene SA, McCowan C, Thomas GE, Cairns AY, Ricketts IW. Body mass index centile charts to assess fatness of British children. Arch Dis Child. 1995 Jan;72(1):38–41. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Troiano RP, Flegal KM, Kuczmarski RJ, Campbell SM, Johnson CL. Overweight prevalence and trends for children and adolescents. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 1963 to 1991. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995 Oct;149(10):1085–1091. [PubMed]
  • Gulliford MC, Rona RJ, Chinn S. Trends in body mass index in young adults in England and Scotland from 1973 to 1988. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1992 Jun;46(3):187–190. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Cole TJ, Green PJ. Smoothing reference centile curves: the LMS method and penalized likelihood. Stat Med. 1992 Jul;11(10):1305–1319. [PubMed]
  • Rolland-Cachera MF, Deheeger M, Bellisle F, Sempé M, Guilloud-Bataille M, Patois E. Adiposity rebound in children: a simple indicator for predicting obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 1984 Jan;39(1):129–135. [PubMed]
  • O'Dea J, Abraham S. Should body-mass index be used in young adolescents? Lancet. 1995 Mar 11;345(8950):657–657. [PubMed]
  • Dietz WH. Health consequences of obesity in youth: childhood predictors of adult disease. Pediatrics. 1998 Mar;101(3 Pt 2):518–525. [PubMed]
  • Rolland-Cachera MF, Deheeger M, Guilloud-Bataille M, Avons P, Patois E, Sempé M. Tracking the development of adiposity from one month of age to adulthood. Ann Hum Biol. 1987 May-Jun;14(3):219–229. [PubMed]
  • Bouchard C. The genetics of obesity: from genetic epidemiology to molecular markers. Mol Med Today. 1995 Apr;1(1):45–50. [PubMed]
  • Ristow M, Müller-Wieland D, Pfeiffer A, Krone W, Kahn CR. Obesity associated with a mutation in a genetic regulator of adipocyte differentiation. N Engl J Med. 1998 Oct 1;339(14):953–959. [PubMed]
  • Bray GA. Obesity: a time bomb to be defused. Lancet. 1998 Jul 18;352(9123):160–161. [PubMed]
  • Gortmaker SL, Must A, Sobol AM, Peterson K, Colditz GA, Dietz WH. Television viewing as a cause of increasing obesity among children in the United States, 1986-1990. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996 Apr;150(4):356–362. [PubMed]
  • Andersen RE, Crespo CJ, Bartlett SJ, Cheskin LJ, Pratt M. Relationship of physical activity and television watching with body weight and level of fatness among children: results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. JAMA. 1998 Mar 25;279(12):938–942. [PubMed]
  • Robinson TN. Does television cause childhood obesity? JAMA. 1998 Mar 25;279(12):959–960. [PubMed]
  • DuRant RH, Baranowski T, Johnson M, Thompson WO. The relationship among television watching, physical activity, and body composition of young children. Pediatrics. 1994 Oct;94(4 Pt 1):449–455. [PubMed]
  • Mathus-Vliegen EM. Overgewicht. II. Determinanten van overgewicht en strategieën voor preventie. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 1998 Sep 5;142(36):1989–1995. [PubMed]
  • van de Mheen H, Stronks K, Looman CW, Mackenbach JP. Does childhood socioeconomic status influence adult health through behavioural factors? Int J Epidemiol. 1998 Jun;27(3):431–437. [PubMed]
  • Whitaker RC, Wright JA, Pepe MS, Seidel KD, Dietz WH. Predicting obesity in young adulthood from childhood and parental obesity. N Engl J Med. 1997 Sep 25;337(13):869–873. [PubMed]
  • Lake JK, Power C, Cole TJ. Child to adult body mass index in the 1958 British birth cohort: associations with parental obesity. Arch Dis Child. 1997 Nov;77(5):376–381. [PubMed]
  • Van den Broeck J, Wit JM. Anthropometry and body composition in children. Horm Res. 1997;48 (Suppl 1):33–42. [PubMed]
  • Garn SM, Leonard WR, Hawthorne VM. Three limitations of the body mass index. Am J Clin Nutr. 1986 Dec;44(6):996–997. [PubMed]
  • Barlow SE, Dietz WH. Obesity evaluation and treatment: Expert Committee recommendations. The Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services. Pediatrics. 1998 Sep;102(3):E29–E29. [PubMed]
  • Pietrobelli A, Faith MS, Allison DB, Gallagher D, Chiumello G, Heymsfield SB. Body mass index as a measure of adiposity among children and adolescents: a validation study. J Pediatr. 1998 Feb;132(2):204–210. [PubMed]

Articles from Archives of Disease in Childhood are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...