European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 169, Issue 6, pp 733–739 | Cite as

Neck circumference: an additional tool of screening overweight and obesity in childhood

  • Nihal Hatipoglu
  • M. Mumtaz Mazicioglu
  • Selim KurtogluEmail author
  • Mustafa Kendirci
Original Paper


Obesity, particularly in the upper part of body, is a major health problem. Central obesity is related to cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders. There are various techniques for assessing upper body fat content for the overweight and obese subjects other than waist circumference (WC). We tried to find out if neck circumference (NC) alone can be used to assess overweight and obesity. Four hundred twelve overweight and obese patients (208 girls and 204 boys) and 555 healthy children (284 girls and 271 boys) aged 6–18 years were recruited for this present study. There were significant and positive correlations between BMI-WC, BMI-NC, and WC-NC (p < 0.001). NC cutoffs for overweight and obesity were determined for each age and pubertal period. NC cutoffs of boys were increased from 28.0 to 38.0. This range was 27.0–34.5 for girls in the same range. We also calculated NC cutoffs for prepubertal and pubertal periods (respectively, 29.0 and 32.5 for boys and 28.0–31.0 for girls). Conclusion: NC is a reliable and easy to use tool to determine overweight and obesity in children, and NC is not as good as WC in determining overweight and obesity, both providing similar information.


Neck circumference Childhood Obesity Central obesity 


Conflict of interest

Authors do not have financial relationship with any organization other than the university hospital where they are employed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nihal Hatipoglu
    • 1
  • M. Mumtaz Mazicioglu
    • 2
  • Selim Kurtoglu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mustafa Kendirci
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatric EndocrinologyErciyes UniversityKayseriTurkey
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family MedicineErciyes UniversityKayseriTurkey

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