Short-term predictors of abdominal obesity in children

Glykeria Psarra, George P. Nassis, Labros S. Sidossis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The aim of this study was to examine the short-term tracking of abdominal adiposity in children. Methods: A total of 918 children (477 boys) aged 6-12 years at baseline were followed-up for 2 years. Central obesity was assessed by waist circumference (WaistC), whereas body fat distribution by waist-to-hip ratio. Maturity was assessed by the Khamis-Roche method. Parental fatness and children's cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) were also evaluated. Multiple and logistic regressions were employed to identify the predictors of BMI and WaistC. Results: Tracking of body fatness and body fat distribution was high (r = 0.69-0.86, P < 0.01). More boys remained obese than girls (P < 0.05), whereas a greater percentage of boys moved to a higher quartile of WaistC after the 2-year follow-up (22.0 vs 14.1%, P < 0.01). Sex, child's maturity and WaistC at baseline, CRF, and maternal BMI explained 76% of the variability in BMI and WaistC at the follow-up (n = 290). Children with high WaistC at baseline and low CRF presented 1.9- and 4.3-fold increased risk of remaining in the upper quartile of WaistC at the follow-up (P < 0.01; n = 552). Conclusion: Youth with increased WaistC at baseline and low CRF presented an increased chance of maintaining central obesity at the follow-up. More boys than girls moved into a higher quartile of abdominal obesity during the 2-year follow-up period and this should be taken into account in designing programmes for childhood obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-525
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Central adiposity
  • Children
  • Fatness
  • Fitness
  • Tracking
  • Waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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