BMI-for-age graphs with severe obesity percentile curves: Tools for plotting cross-sectional and longitudinal youth BMI data

Susan B. Racette, Liyang Yu, Nicholas C. DuPont, B. Ruth Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Severe obesity is an important and distinct weight status classification that is associated with disease risk and is increasing in prevalence among youth. The ability to graphically present population weight status data, ranging from underweight through severe obesity class 3, is novel and applicable to epidemiologic research, intervention studies, case reports, and clinical care. Methods: The aim was to create body mass index (BMI) graphing tools to generate sex-specific BMI-for-age graphs that include severe obesity percentile curves. We used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention youth reference data sets and weight status criteria to generate the percentile curves. The statistical software environments SAS and R were used to create two different graphing options. Results: This article provides graphing tools for creating sex-specific BMI-for-age graphs for males and females ages 2 to <20 years. The novel aspects of these graphing tools are an expanded BMI range to accommodate BMI values >35 kg/m2, inclusion of percentile curves for severe obesity classes 2 and 3, the ability to plot individual data for thousands of children and adolescents on a single graph, and the ability to generate cross-sectional and longitudinal graphs. Conclusions: These new BMI graphing tools will enable investigators, public health professionals, and clinicians to view and present youth weight status data in novel and meaningful ways.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 24 2017

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Body mass index
  • Children
  • Excessive body weight
  • Graphing tool
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Weight status

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