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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000 May;24(5):627-32.

Overweight and obese children have low bone mass and area for their weight.

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Department of Medicine, Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand.



To determine whether girls and boys categorized from body mass index (BMI) values as overweight or obese for their age have lower bone mineral content (BMC) or lower bone area in relation to total body weight than children of normal adiposity.


Cross-sectional study in a university bone research unit.


Two hundred girls and 136 boys aged 3-19 y recruited from the general population by advertisement.


Total body BMC (g) and bone area (cm2) measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in relation to body weight (kg), lean tissue mass (kg) and fat mass (kg) in boys and girls of three different BMI percentile groupings: normal weight (BMI<85th percentile); overweight (85 to 94th BMI percentile); obese (> or =95th BMI percentile).


Obese children had higher BMC, bone area, and fat mass for chronological age than those of normal body weight (P<0.001). In spite of this the observed values for age-adjusted total body BMC and bone area relative to body weight were each lower than predicted values, in both overweight and obese children (2.5-10.1% less, P<0.05) than in children of lower adiposity.


In overweight and obese boys and girls there is a mismatch between body weight and bone development during growth: their bone mass and bone area are low for their body weight.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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