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Ann Hum Biol. 2005 Nov-Dec;32(6):714-23.

Anthropometry of 5-19-year-old Tongan children with special interest in the high prevalence of obesity among adolescent girls.

Author information

1
Department of Human Ecology, School of International Health, University of Tokyo, Japan. moe@humeco.m.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite much concern about adult obesity among Pacific Islanders, childhood obesity has seldom been investigated.

AIM:

Based on the anthropometry of Tongan children aged 5-19 years, this study aims to elucidate age and sex differences in obesity prevalence calculated from BMI and its relation to body fat estimated by skinfold thicknesses.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

895 students, aged 5-19 years, in the most modernized island and a remote island, were measured for stature, body weight, circumferences at waist, hip and mid-upper arm, and skinfold thicknesses at biceps, triceps and subscapular. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was calculated using the reference data of the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

RESULTS:

The prevalence of obesity of Tongan adolescent girls defined by the IOTF and CDC references was 19.4% and 22.8%, respectively, being considerably higher than that of not only juvenile girls but also adolescent boys. Among adolescents, the girls' BMI was positively correlated with fat mass whereas in boys it was not. The sex difference in adolescents was parallel to that in adults, being attributable to gender differences in daily behavioural patterns.

CONCLUSIONS:

Among Tongan adolescents, obesity prevalence in girls was much higher than in boys, in association with fat accumulation in the former.

PMID:
16418045
DOI:
10.1080/03014460500273275
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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