Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Apr;53(4):839-46.

Reference data for obesity: 85th and 95th percentiles of body mass index (wt/ht2) and triceps skinfold thickness.

Author information

  • 1Epidemiology Program, USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111.

Erratum in

  • Am J Clin Nutr 1991 Nov;54(5):773.


Body mass index (BMI) and triceps skinfold thickness (TSF) are commonly used measures of adiposity in clinical and epidemiologic studies. The 85th and 95th percentiles of BMI and TSF are often used operationally to define obesity and superobesity, respectively. Race-specific and population-based 85th and 95th percentiles of BMI and TSF for people aged 6-74 y were generated from anthropometric data gathered in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1 (NHANES I). The complex sample design of the survey is reflected in the reference values presented. Racial differences in these extremes of the distribution do not emerge until adulthood. Researchers may choose population-based, race-specific, or age-specific criteria for obesity on the basis of assumptions underlying their specific research questions.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk