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Clin Nutr. 2013 Feb;32(1):93-7. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2012.05.020. Epub 2012 Jul 28.

Waist circumference in children and adolescents correlate with metabolic syndrome and fat deposits in young adults.

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Medical School of the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do RS, Moinhos de Vento Hospital, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.



To determine the relevance of waist circumference (WC) measurement and monitoring in children and adolescents as an early indicator of overweight, metabolic syndrome (MS) and cardiovascular problems in young adults in comparison with visceral and subcutaneous adiposity.


A cohort study with 159 subjects (51.6% female) started in 1999 with an average age of 13.2 years. In 1999, 2006 and 2008 weight, height, and WC were evaluated. In 2006 blood samples for laboratory diagnosis of MS were added. In 2008 abdominal computed tomography (ACT) to quantify the fat deposits were also added.


The WC measured in children and adolescents was strongly correlated with body mass index (BMI) measured simultaneously. A strong correlation was established between WC in 1999 with measures of WC and BMI as young adults. WC strongly correlated with fat deposits in ACT. The WC in 1999 expressed more subcutaneous fat (SAT), while the WC when young adults expressed strong correlation with both visceral fat (VAT) and SAT. The correlation of WC with fat deposits was stronger in females. WC and not BMI in 1999 was significantly higher in the group that evolved to MS.


The WC in children and adolescents was useful in screening patients for MS. WC expressed the accumulation of abdominal fat; especially subcutaneous fat.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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