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Am J Hum Biol. 2005 Nov-Dec;17(6):787-95.

Methodological issues in the anthropometric assessment of Hmong children in the United States.

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Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts--Boston, Boston, Massachusetts 02125-3393, USA.


The effectiveness of the body mass index (BMI; kg/m2) in assessing overweight/obesity may be diminished in populations of short stature. In a sample (n = 79) of Hmong refugee children in the United States, of age 4-11 years, median z scores for height, BMI, and the triceps skinfold were -1.04z, +0.53z, and +0.18z, respectively. Further, 41.7% of children were above the NHANES 85th percentile for BMI-for-age, categorizing them as overweight/obese. Assessment of obesity by other established criteria for children, such as the triceps skinfold and body fat percentage, produced significantly lower estimates than did BMI. This is consistent with patterns found in other stunted populations, suggesting that BMI be employed in conjunction with other methods when assessing overweight/obesity in these groups. Finally, although stunting and overweight/obesity were both common in this study, at the individual level height z scores were positively correlated to z scores of various measures of adiposity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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