Indexed on: 21 Dec '17Published on: 21 Dec '17Published in: Children (Basel, Switzerland)
Overweight children and childhood obesity are a public health problem in Mexico. Obesity is traditionally assessed using body mass index (BMI), but an excess of adiposity does not necessarily reflect a high BMI. Thus, body composition indexes are a better alternative. Our objective was to generate body composition percentile curves in children from Mexico City. A total of 2026 boys and 1488 girls aged 6 to 12 years old were studied in Mexico City. Body weight, height, and BMI calculation were measured. Total body fat percentage (TBFP) was derived from the skinfold thicknesses, and fat mass (FMI) and free fat mass indexes (FFMI) were calculated. Finally, age- and gender-specifıc smoothed percentile curves were generated with Cole's Lambda, Mu, and Sigma (LMS) method. In general, height, weight, waist circumference (WC), and TBFP were higher in boys, but FFM was higher in girls. TBFP appeared to increase significantly between ages 8 and 9 in boys (+2.9%) and between ages 10 and 11 in girls (+1.2%). In contrast, FFM% decreased noticeably between ages 8 and 9 until 12 years old in boys and girls. FMI values peaked in boys at age 12 (P97 = 14.1 kg/m²) and in girls at age 11 (P97 = 8.8 kg/m²). FFMI percentiles increase at a steady state reaching a peak at age 12 in boys and girls. Smoothed body composition percentiles showed a different pattern in boys and girls. The use of TBFP, FMI, and FFMI along with BMI provides valuable information in epidemiological, nutritional, and clinical research.