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BMI Thresholds Predict Metabolic Syndrome in Teens

CDC thresholds better for boys, while FGram standards performed better for girls

TUESDAY, Jan. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FITNESSGRAM (FGram) body mass index (BMI) thresholds are predictive of metabolic syndrome in U.S. adolescents, according to a study published online Jan. 27 in Pediatrics.

Kelly R. Laurson, Ph.D., from Illinois State University in Normal, and colleagues analyzed data from 3,385 adolescents participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who were measured for anthropometric variables and metabolic risk factors. Weight status was categorized using CDC and FGram thresholds.

The researchers found that the prevalence of metabolic syndrome was <2 percent in the normal-weight groups and ranged from 19 to 33 percent in obese youth, with odds of metabolic syndrome 46 to 67 and 19 to 22 times higher for obese boys and girls, respectively, versus normal-weight youth. Based on receiver operating characteristic analyses, the optimal thresholds were similar to the CDC standards and the FGram standards, for boys and girls, respectively. The association between BMI thresholds and metabolic syndrome was stronger in boys than in girls.

"Both the CDC and FGram standards are predictive of metabolic syndrome. The diagnostic utility of the CDC thresholds outperformed the FGram values for boys, whereas FGram standards were slightly better thresholds for girls," the authors conclude. "The use of a common set of thresholds for school and clinical applications would provide advantages for public health and clinical research and practice."

One author serves as the Scientific Director and oversees the activities of the Scientific Advisory Board of the FITNESSGRAM program.

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