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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Feb;27(2):253-9.

Low body mass index but high percent body fat in Taiwanese subjects: implications of obesity cutoffs.

Author information

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan. em75210@email.ncku.edu.tw

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To compare the different correlations of body mass index (BMI) and percent body fat (BF%) with other ethnic groups and to evaluate the appropriateness of Asia-Pacific redefining obesity criteria in the Taiwanese population. The corresponding BF% to BMI cutoffs of overweight and obesity will also be studied.

DESIGN:

A cross-sectional epidemiological survey.

SUBJECTS:

A total of 509 male and 570 female Taiwanese subjects aged > or =20 y sampled by the systematic stratified clustering sampling method were analyzed.

MEASUREMENTS:

BMI was obtained by body weight (kg) divided by squared body height (m(2)). The estimated BMI (BMIe) was deduced from the Caucasian-based four-compartment equation (4C). BF% measured by the methods of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) or Caucasian-based 4C were used and abbreviated as DXA-BF and 4C-BF, respectively.

RESULTS:

The curvilinear relationship between age and BMI or DXA-BF was established. When compared by age-stratified groups, Taiwanese subjects had a higher BF% (4C-BF) in any given BMI than Caucasians. That is, the level of 4C-BF for BMI> or =25 kg/m(2) in Taiwanese subjects was similar to BMI> or =30 kg/m(2) in Caucasians. The BMIe values of 25 and 30 kg/m(2) were nearly equal to the BMIs of 23.6 and 25.3 kg/m(2) in males, and 22.7 and 24.8 kg/m(2) in females, respectively. The 4C-BF of 25% was nearly equal to a BMI of 26.2 kg/m(2) in males, and 35% was equal to a BMI of 24.4 kg/m(2) in females. Consequently, the DXA-BF cutoffs for BMIs of 23 and 25 kg/m(2) were compatible to 23 and 25% in males, and 35 and 38% in females, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

It was demonstrated that Taiwanese subjects had a relatively lower BMI but a higher BF% than Caucasians. In general, the newly proposed Asia-Pacific BMI cutoffs for overweight (> or =23 kg/m(2)) and obesity (> or =25 kg/m(2)) may be acceptable to both male and female Taiwanese subjects. The corresponding BF% (DXA-BF) cutoffs for obesity would be 25% in male and 38% in female Taiwanese subjects, respectively.

PMID:
12587007
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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