Waist to height ratio as a screening tool for identifying childhood obesity and associated factors

Waist-to-Height Ratio in Childhood Obesity

  • Arda Kılınç
  • Nilgün Çöl Gaziantep University Faculty of Medicine Department of Pediatrics
  • Beltinge Demircioğlu-Kılıç
  • Neriman Aydin
  • Ayse Balat
  • Mehmet Keskin
Keywords: Children, Obesity, Waist to height ratio


Objective: To investigate the prevalence of obesity and associated factors during childhood in Southeastern Turkey. Another objective was to determine the cut-off points of Waist to Height Ratio (WHtR) values for defining obesity/abdominal obesity.

Methods: The community-based descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in Gaziantep Turkey between November 2011 and December 2011 with 2718 primary school/high schools students aged 6-17 years. The SPSS 22.00 was used for the analysis of data.

Results: The prevalence of overweight, obesity, abdominal obesity, was 13.2%, 4.2% ,26.4%, respectively. There was a reverse relationship between BMI/WC values and sleep durations (p<0.05). The BMI/WC values were higher in students with computer usage time ≥1 hours in a day (p<0.05). Parental obesity status has an effective role on the WC/BMI values of children (p<0.05). The WHtR was a good predictor of diagnosis on obesity and abdominal obesity (AUC=0.928, p<0.0001; AUC=0.920, p<0.0001; respectively). The optimal cut-off values for obesity and abdominal obesity were detected as 0.5077, 0.4741, respectively.

Conclusions: The WHtR can be used for diagnosis of obesity/abdominal obesity. Parental obesity, short sleep duration and computer use more than one hour per day are risk factors for the development of obesity in children and adolescents.

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.35.6.748

How to cite this:
Kilinc A, Col N, Demircioglu-Kilic B, Aydin N, Balat A, Keskin M. Waist to height ratio as a screening tool for identifying childhood obesity and associated factors. Pak J Med Sci. 2019;35(6):1652-1658. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.35.6.748

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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