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J Clin Epidemiol. 2003 May;56(5):456-62.

The utility of the international child and adolescent overweight guidelines for predicting coronary heart disease risk factors.

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School of Physical and Health Education, Queen's University, K7L 3N6, Kingston, ON, Canada. <>


The purpose of this study was to assess the association between the international overweight cutoffs for children and youth and coronary heart disease risk factors. The sample included 410 boys and 337 girls 9-18 years of age from the Québec Family Study. Participants were classified as normal weight or overweight using the international BMI cutoffs, and into normal and elevated risk groups based on the 90th percentile of sex-specific age-adjusted risk factors [blood pressure, fasting total cholesterol (CHOL), LDL-C, HDL-C, CHOL/HDL-C, triglycerides, glucose, and physical work capacity]. Overweight participants had between 1.6 and 9.1 times the risk of elevated risk factors compared to normal-weight participants. Further, boys and girls with four or more risk factors were 19 and 43 times more likely to be overweight, respectively, compared to participants with no risk factors. The results add evidence that the international cutoffs are related to health risks in youth, supporting the adoption of the guidelines.

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