Waist circumference centiles for UK South Asian children

Shah, Mahjabeen, Radia, Dimple and McCarthy, H. David (2019) Waist circumference centiles for UK South Asian children. Archives of disease in childhood. ISSN 1468-2044


To develop waist circumference (WC) centile curves for UK South Asian children, to make comparisons with published centiles for British, indigenous Indian and Pakistani children, as well as to make anthropometric comparisons with their UK white peers.

Cross-sectional study.

School-aged children from London boroughs (main measures: 2004-2007).

1562 (652 boys, 910 girls) UK South Asian and 1120 (588 boys, 532 girls) UK white children aged 4.0-13.9 years.

WC, height, weight and body mass index (BMI).

Main outcome measures:
The outcome measures were smoothed WC centile curves, constructed using the LMS (L = skewness, M = median, S = coefficient of variation) method. SD scores (SDS) were generated using UK90 and British (WC) growth references.

WC increased with age for both sexes, rising more steeply at the upper centiles after the age of 6 years. Overall, UK South Asian children, similar to indigenous South Asian populations, had higher WC values than the British WC references. However, compared with their UK white peers, UK South Asian children had significantly (p<0.001) lower mean WC (UK white SDS=0.74 and SDS=0.64 vs UK South Asian SDS=0.32 and SDS=0.21 for boys and girls, respectively). Obesity prevalence was greater using WC than BMI for both ethnicities. At the 90th centile, for UK South Asian children, prevalence was 21.5% vs 24.4% for boys and 17% vs 24.5% for girls based on BMI and WC, respectively.

These curves represent the first WC centiles for UK South Asian children up to the age of 14 years. With a continued rise in childhood obesity, they provide a useful historical control for future comparisons.

Pre-publication final accepted version
WC_paper_for_ADC_May_2019_final_accepted_DMc.pdf - Accepted Version

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