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Arch Med Res. 2003 Mar-Apr;34(2):137-40.

Short stature is related to high body fat composition despite body mass index in a Mexican population.

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  • 1Departamento de Endocrinología, Clínica de Obesidad, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y de la Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Mexico City, Mexico.



Mexico has a high prevalence of short stature (SS) population; thus, body mass index (BMI) criteria for diagnosis of obesity should be different from that in a tall stature (TS) population. The aim of this study was to determine whether SS at the same BMI would have greater body fat mass than those with TS.


We studied 116 individuals, 58 with SS (women < or =1.50 m and men < or =1.60 m) matched by gender, age (+/-5 years), and BMI (+/-2). Body fat was measured by bioelectrical impedance analysis.


Paired comparisons between matched subjects showed that SS have greater body fat percentage than TS (Delta = 1.40%, p = 0.04). Subjects with BMI > or =25 and SS showed higher difference (Delta = 4.2%, p = 0.004) in body fat percentage. Subjects with SS have more body fat percentage than TS.


This finding supports the hypothesis that in SS population BMI for diagnosis of obesity must be re-evaluated; from these results, we propose that diagnosis of obesity in SS be from BMI of 25.

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