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Association between waist circumference and percentage body fat among rural Thais


OBJECTIVE: Determine the association between waist circumference (WC) and percentage body fat (%BF) and to develop cut-off values and evaluate the accuracy of WC in the definition of obesity in rural Thai population. MATERIAL AND METHOD: A cross-sectional, epidemiologic study in 181 men and 255 women aged 50+/-16 yr (mean+/-SD; range: 20-84 yr) sampled by stratified clustering sampling method, was designed. Percentage body fat was measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (GE Lunar Corp, Madison, WI). The ""golden standard""for defining obesity was%BF > or = 25 in men and%BF > or = 35 in women. Waist circumference in centimeter was measured. RESULTS: In this study, the %BF-based prevalence of obesity in men and women was 8.3% and 44%, respectively. However using the WC cut-off (WHO) of 102 cm in men and 88 cm in women, only 1.7% of men and 24% of women were classified as obese. WC was a significant predictor of %BF, such that in men, a WC of 93 cm would predict a %BF of25%, and in women a WC of 84 cm would correspond to a %BF of 35%. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0. 87 and 0. 88 in men and women, respectively. In conclusion, waist circumference is a reasonably useful indicator of obesity. CONCLUSION: The cut-off values of WC for diagnosing obesity should be lower in Thailand than in Western countries.

Type Journal
ISBN 0125-2208 (Print)
Authors Pongchaiyakul, C.;Pongchaiyakul, C.;Wanothayaroj, E.;Nguyen, T. V.;Rajatanavin, R. :
Garvan Authors Prof Tuan Nguyen
Publisher Name J Med Assoc Thai
Published Date 2006-01-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 89
Published Issue 10
Published Pages 1592-600
Status Published in-print