Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040

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Trends of Underweight and Overweight/Obesity Among Japanese Schoolchildren From 2003 to 2012, Defined by Body Mass Index and Percentage Overweight Cutoffs
Takako ShirasawaHirotaka OchiaiHinako NanriRimei NishimuraTadahiro OhtsuHiromi HoshinoNaoko TajimaAkatsuki Kokaze
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JOURNAL FREE ACCESS Advance online publication

Article ID: JE20140144


Background: We investigated the prevalence and trends of underweight and overweight/obesity in a population-based sample of Japanese schoolchildren from 2003 to 2012, defined by body mass index (BMI) and percentage overweight (POW).
Methods: Subjects comprised fourth and seventh graders from the town of Ina, Japan, from 2003 to 2012. The height and weight of each subject were measured. Children were classified as underweight, normal weight, or overweight/obese using two criteria: BMI cutoff points proposed by the International Obesity Task Force and cutoffs based on POW in Japan.
Results: Data from 4367 fourth graders and 3724 seventh graders were analyzed. The prevalence of underweight and overweight as defined by POW criteria were lower than those based on BMI criteria. There was a decrease in the prevalence of overweight among fourth-grade boys and girls and seventh-grade girls according to BMI; this decrease was also observed when POW criteria were used for the definition of overweight.
Conclusions: The prevalence and trends of both underweight and overweight as defined by POW were underestimated among Japanese schoolchildren compared to those determined using BMI. The results of this study also suggest that trends in underweight and overweight/obesity using POW criteria are similar to those based on BMI criteria among schoolchildren in Japan.

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© 2015 Takako Shirasawa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.