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Measures of body mass and of obesity from infancy to adulthood and their appropriate transformation


Gasser, T; Ziegler, P; Seifert, Burkhardt; Prader, A; Molinari, L; Largo, R (1994). Measures of body mass and of obesity from infancy to adulthood and their appropriate transformation. Annals of Human Biology, 21(2):111-125.

Abstract

In this paper we investigate first the choice of an appropriate index of body mass. The traditional indices weight/height (W/H), W/H2 and W/H3 are compared, as well as an approach due to Cole (1986) making the index W/Hp age-dependent, i.e. by allowing the power p to depend on age. While there may be no perfect index reflecting over- and underweight--irrespective of height and width--the Quetelet index W/H2 turned out to be a reasonable index from childhood to adulthood. Second, we study the development of the body mass index W/H2 longitudinally from birth onwards, based on structural average distance, velocity and acceleration curves. As a third topic, transformations for obtaining an approximate normal distribution for W/H2, weight and skinfolds are compared. The usual log-transformation turned out to be unsatisfactory. While for height and arm skinfolds a transformation -1/square root of x performs rather well across age and sex, a transformation -1/x is more appropriate for trunk skinfolds and W/H2.

Abstract

In this paper we investigate first the choice of an appropriate index of body mass. The traditional indices weight/height (W/H), W/H2 and W/H3 are compared, as well as an approach due to Cole (1986) making the index W/Hp age-dependent, i.e. by allowing the power p to depend on age. While there may be no perfect index reflecting over- and underweight--irrespective of height and width--the Quetelet index W/H2 turned out to be a reasonable index from childhood to adulthood. Second, we study the development of the body mass index W/H2 longitudinally from birth onwards, based on structural average distance, velocity and acceleration curves. As a third topic, transformations for obtaining an approximate normal distribution for W/H2, weight and skinfolds are compared. The usual log-transformation turned out to be unsatisfactory. While for height and arm skinfolds a transformation -1/square root of x performs rather well across age and sex, a transformation -1/x is more appropriate for trunk skinfolds and W/H2.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1994
Deposited On:15 Oct 2015 14:19
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 14:18
Publisher:Informa Healthcare
ISSN:0301-4460
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/03014469400003152
PubMed ID:8192423

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