Centripetal fat patterning in South African children | Goon | Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences

Centripetal fat patterning in South African children

Daniel T Goon, Abel L Toriola, Brandon S Shaw, LO Amusa


Objectives: The waist-to-stature ratio (WSR) is newly developed index, proposed to be of greater value as a simple anthropometric indicator, for predicting abdominal obesity and related cardiovascular co-morbidities in adults and children. This study examined age and gender differences in waist-to-stature (WSR) as measure of centripetal fat patterning in a sample of children in Pretoria, South Africa.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study of 1136 schoolchildren (548 boys and 588 girls) aged 9-13 (11.2 1.3) years were studied. Anthropometric measurements included body mass, stature and waist circumference. WSR was calculated by dividing waist circumference (in cm) by stature (in cm). Data were analysed using means and standard deviation. The parametric t-test was applied to examine sexual dimorphism in fat patterning among the children. The proportion of children with a WSR < 0.50 was calculated for each age group. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.
Results: The mean value of WSR was 0.43 0.06 (95% CI 0.42-0.43), with the girls having significantly (p = 0.002; p < 0.05) higher mean WSR (0.44 0.06; 95% CI 0.43-0.44), compared to the boys (0.42 0.06; 95% CI 0.42-0.43). WSR showed inconsistent results in both sexes and across age groups. Girls had significantly (p = 0.005) higher mean values of WSR at ages nine, 11, and 12. A total of 155 children (13.6%) had central obesity as measured by WSR. The proportion of boys with a WSR > 0.5 was 47 (8.6%), while girls were 108 (18.4%). The prevalence of central obesity (WSR > 0.5) was found at all age and sex categories with the highest prevalence rate found at age 13 in both sexes.
Conclusions: The fact that WSR > 0.5 (13.6%) was found in these children, even among the youngest, is a cause for concern since obesity-related problems are likely to be present among the children. The need to design and implement appropriate intervention strategies at school and community levels is evident.

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