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Prev Med. 2014 Aug;65:1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.04.010. Epub 2014 Apr 13.

Using appropriate body mass index cut points for overweight and obesity among Asian Americans.

Author information

1
Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA; Asian American Research Center on Health, San Francisco, CA, USA. Electronic address: jane.jih@ucsf.edu.
2
Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA; Asian American Research Center on Health, San Francisco, CA, USA; Department of Health Sciences, College of Science, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA, USA.
3
Division of Biostatistics, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
4
Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA; Asian American Research Center on Health, San Francisco, CA, USA.
5
Asian American Research Center on Health, San Francisco, CA, USA; Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
6
Asian American Research Center on Health, San Francisco, CA, USA; Institute for Health & Aging/Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing, University of California San Francisco, CA, USA.
7
Asian American Research Center on Health, San Francisco, CA, USA; Department of Family Health Care Nursing, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
8
Asian American Research Center on Health, San Francisco, CA, USA; School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Asian Americans have low prevalence of overweight/obesity based on standard BMI cut points yet have higher rates of diabetes. We examined the prevalence of overweight/obesity, using lower BMI cut points recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for Asians, and diabetes in Asian American subgroups in California.

METHOD:

Secondary analysis of the 2009 adult California Health Interview Survey (n=45,946) of non-Hispanic Whites (NHW), African Americans, Hispanics and Asians (Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, South Asian and Japanese). WHO Asian BMI cut points (overweight=23-27.5kg/m(2); obese≥27.5kg/m(2)) were used for Asian subgroups. Standard BMI cut points (overweight=25-29.9kg/m(2); obese≥30kg/m(2)) were applied for other groups.

RESULTS:

Among Asian subgroups, overweight/obesity was highest among Filipinos (78.6%), which was higher than NHWs (p<0.001) but similar to African Americans and Hispanics. Compared to NHW, diabetes prevalence was higher for Vietnamese, Koreans, Filipinos and South Asians with BMI=23-24.9kg/m(2) and Koreans, Filipinos and Japanese with BMI=27.5-29.9kg/m(2), the ranges WHO recommends as overweight or obese for Asians but not for other groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Filipinos should be a priority population for overweight/obesity screening. Filipinos, Vietnamese, Korean, South Asians and Japanese have higher diabetes prevalence at lower BMI cut points. WHO Asian BMI cut points may have clinical utility to identify at-risk Asian Americans.

KEYWORDS:

Asian Americans; Minority health; Obesity; Overweight; Type 2 diabetes mellitus

PMID:
24736092
PMCID:
PMC4217157
DOI:
10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.04.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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