Large Waist but Low Body Mass Index: The Metabolic Syndrome in Australian Aboriginal Children

E SELLERS, Gurmeet Singh, S Sayers

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective: To describe the prevalence and clinical characteristics of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in a cohort of Australian Aboriginal children. Study design: Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, skin fold thickness, body fat percentage, insulin resistance, and the prevalence of MetS were evaluated in 486 children age 9 to 14 years from the Darwin Health Region, Northern Territory, Australia. Results: Using an age- and sex- specific definition, 14% of the children in the cohort had MetS, 6.4% were overweight, 4.9% were obese, and 26.2% had an elevated waist circumference. The mean percentage of body fat was 30.2%. The children with MetS had higher BMI and waist z-scores, percent body fat, Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) score, and skin fold thickness compared with those without MetS (P < .001); however, >50% of those with MetS were neither overweight nor obese. Waist circumference was significantly associated with insulin resistance as measured by the HOMA-IR (P < .001). Conclusions: MetS is common in our cohort despite low rates of overweight and obesity. A tendency for central adiposity is already evident in these young children. Measurement of waist circumference may help identify Aboriginal children at high risk for MetS. � 2008 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)222-227
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Pediatrics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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