, Volume 172, Issue 2, pp 185-191
Date: 14 Oct 2012

Distributions of waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio for children and adolescents in Shandong, China

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Waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) are useful tools which can help to identify abdominal obesity among the childhood and adolescent populations. This study assessed the distributions of WC and WHtR for Shandong children and adolescents and compared them with those from other countries and regions. Data for this study were obtained from a large cross-sectional survey of schoolchildren carried out in 2010. A total of 42,296 students (21,218 boys and 21,078 girls) aged 7–18 years participated in this study. Height and WC of all subjects were measured and WHtR was calculated. Central obesity was defined as WC ≥ 90th percentile and a WHtR ≥ 0.5, respectively. Shandong children and adolescents had a high WC level, with the 50th percentiles of WC for children and adolescents aged 7 to 18 years in Shandong is above the reference values for Chinese children and adolescents by 1.3–3.1 cm for boys and 1.2–2.0 cm for girls, respectively. The WC levels in Shandong boys and girls were higher than those from Hong Kong, Malaysian, and Turkish. Overall, 20.20 and 16.57 % of boys and girls had a WC ≥90th percentile, 15.73 and 7.38 % of boys and girls had a WHtR ≥0.5. Conclusion: The prevalence of central obesity among children and adolescents has become a serious public health problem, which would arouse special attention.