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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


GOMES, Fabio da Silva; ANJOS, Luiz Antonio dos  and  VASCONCELLOS, Mauricio Teixeira Leite de. Influence of different body mass index cut-off values in assessing the nutritional status of adolescents in a household survey. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.8, pp.1850-1857. ISSN 1678-4464.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the anthropometric nutritional status of the adolescent population of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, and the influence of changes in the adopted body mass index (BMI) cut-offs in the nutritional status assessment of the adolescent population. A population-based survey conducted in 2003 obtained data from a probabilistic sample of 1,734 households and 523 adolescents. The multiple proportions test and prevalence ratios were used to analyze differences between estimates obtained from different BMI cut-offs. Changes in cut-off values from the old to the new recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) resulted in a significant increase in overweight prevalence among total, male and female adolescent population (25%, 27% and 23%, respectively) (p < 0.05). There were significant increases in the prevalence of low-BMI-for-age among the total (29% increase) and male (39%) adolescent populations when the proposal of the International Obesity Task Force was compared to current WHO BMI-for-age cut-offs (p < 0.05). It is shown that a simple change in cut-off values used to define the anthropometric nutritional status can significantly modify the nutritional profile of an adolescent population.

Keywords : Adolescent; Nutritional Status; Nutrition Assessment; Anthropometry.

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