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Body composition derived Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference cut-offs for Sri Lankan adults


Jayawardena, R and Hills, AP, Body composition derived Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference cut-offs for Sri Lankan adults, Obesity Medicine, 18 pp. 1-6. ISSN 2451-8476 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.obmed.2020.100214


Background: Obesity associated non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have emerged as major public health problems in Sri Lanka. However, the absence of derived Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference cut-offs for Sri Lankan adults hinder the early identification of NCDs. The aim of this study therefore was to derive BMI and WC cut-offs for Sri Lankan adults according to body composition data derived from the deuterium dilution technique.

Methods: Demographic and anthropometric measurements were collected from a representative sample of 300 Sri Lankan adults and the deuterium dilution technique was used to estimate fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) and subsequently converted to percent body fat. ROC curve analysis was carried out to determine the appropriate cut-offs of BMI and WC at adiposity levels of 25% for men and 35% for women.

Results: A total of 258 participants completed the study; with a mean age of 43.8 (12.9) years for men and 45.6 (12.8) years for women, respectively. The majority of participants were Sinhalese from urban residential areas. Mean BMI values were 23.0 kg m−2 (4.2) for men and 24.8 kg m−2 (4.5) for women. According to our findings, BMI of 23 kg m−2 corresponds to a body fat percentage of 25% and 35% for Sri Lankan men and women, respectively and body fat percentages of 30% for men and 40% for women equated to a BMI of 25 kg m−2. Corresponding WC cut-offs for %BF of 25% and 35% were 85 cm for men and 76 cm for women respectively.

Conclusions: The traditional BMI and WC cut-offs for obesity have grossly underestimated the adiposity status of Sri Lankan adults. Findings from the current study suggest that lower BMI cut-offs be used for the identification of overweight and obesity among Sri Lankan adults.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:obesity, body composition, Sri Lanka, cut-offs, body fat
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Nutrition and dietetics
Research Field:Nutritional science
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Evaluation of health outcomes
UTAS Author:Hills, AP (Professor Andrew Hills)
ID Code:139437
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2020-06-16
Last Modified:2020-07-21

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