Waist circumference percentiles among Turkish children under the age of 6 years

Hatipoğlu N. , MAZICIOĞLU M. M. , Poyrazoğlu S., Borlu A. , Horoz D. , Kurtoglu S.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PEDIATRICS, vol.172, no.1, pp.59-69, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 172 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00431-012-1822-5
  • Page Numbers: pp.59-69


Waist circumference, a proxy measure of abdominal obesity, is associated with cardio-metabolic risk factors in childhood and adolescence. Although there are numerous studies about waist circumference percentiles in children, only a few studies cover preschool children. The aim of this study was to develop age- and gender-specific waist circumference smoothed reference curves in Turkish preschool children to determine abdominal obesity prevalence and to compare them with reference curves obtained from different countries. The design of the study was cross-sectional. A total of 2,947 children (1,471 boys and 1,476 girls) aged 0-6 years were included in the study. The subjects were divided according to their gender. Waist circumference was measured by using a standardized procedure. The age- and gender-specific waist circumference reference curves were constructed and smoothed with LMS method. The reference values of waist circumference, including 3rd, 10th 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th, and 97th percentiles, and standard deviations were given for preschool children. Waist circumference values increased with age, and there were differences between genders. The prevalence of abdominal obesity was calculated as 10.1 % for boys and 10.7 % for girls. Having compared our data with two other countries' data, we found that our waist circumference data were significantly lower. This is the first cross-sectional study for age- and gender-specific references of 0- to 6-year-old Turkish children. The gender- and age-specific waist circumference percentiles can be used to determine the risk of central obesity.