Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002 Feb;26(2):208-13.

Threshold values of visceral fat measures and their anthropometric alternatives for metabolic derangement in Japanese obese boys.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu, Japan.



To determine whether the direct measure of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) by computed tomography (CT) is a superior diagnostic criterion to the anthropometric surrogates and more classical criteria of obesity.


Cross-sectional, clinical study. Obese boys were classified according to the occurrence of abnormal values in either serum triglyceride, alanine aminotransferase or insulin level. A threshold value of each criterion for such metabolic derangement was calculated, using the analysis of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve.


Seventy-five consecutive outpatient Japanese obese boys, ranging in age from 6 to 14 y, were studied.


Anthropometric indices measured were height, body weight, waist girth, hip girth, triceps and subscapular skinfold thicknesses. Classical criteria for obesity used were percentage overweight (POW), body mass index (BMI) and percentage body fat. Waist girth, sagittal diameter by CT and waist-hip ratio (WHR) were evaluated as anthropometric surrogates for VAT. The areas of total abdominal fat (TAF), VAT and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) were measured by CT at the level of the umbilicus. Clinical blood biochemistry was analyzed in fasting blood samples of obese boys.


Thirty-three boys were classified into a no-complication group, and 42 into a complication group. TAF, VAT and SAT areas were closely associated with age, body size and degree of overweight and adiposity, while VAT/SAT was not. VAT area, sagittal diameter, TAF area and waist girth were closely correlated with alanine aminotransferase, insulin, TG and HDL-C. VAT/SAT, BMI, SAT area, WHR, percentage body fat and POW were less closely associated with these biochemical indices. The descending order of the values of area under the curve for the ROC curves were as follows: VAT>sagittal diameter>TAF>VAT/SAT>waist girth>BMI>WHR>percentage body fat>POW. Both VAT area and VAT/SAT gave >80% of sensitivity and specificity. Among the anthropometric indices studied, the sagittal diameter was the best surrogate of visceral fat measure. The sensitivity and specificity for the rest of the anthropometric indices were in an unsatisfactory range. The threshold values for VAT area, VAT/SAT and sagittal diameter were 58.0 cm(2), 0.276 and 19.2 cm, respectively.


The threshold values for VAT area, VAT/SAT and sagittal diameter for detecting biochemical complication in Japanese obese boys were lower than the respective values reported in adults. These values can be used for classifying the obese boys into two types: those with medical problem and those without.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center