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J Chronic Dis. 1984;37(5):397-400.

Weight-for-height indices as measures of adiposity in children.


This study examines the weight-for-height index q = w/h lambda where the parameter lambda is chosen to maximize the correlation of q with triceps skinfold thickness, and thus provide an indirect measure of adiposity. Using a sample of 1668 children ages 5-12 years, we estimate lambda by an iterative procedure in each age/sex category. We find that lambda does not vary simply across the age/sex categories, and that the correlation of q and skinfold thickness is never more than marginally greater than that of the Quetelet index w/h2. We indicate that almost identical properties will be evidenced by the more general two-parameter index w alpha/h beta. Our conclusion is that there is no weight-for-height index generally useful as an indirect measure of adiposity in children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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