A recent publication [Pediatric Research 2015;78(6):723–729], involving several CPEG members, provides new charts and LMS tables for waist circumference (WC) and waist-height ratio (WHtR) for North American children ages 5–19 years. The study is based on data from the US National Health and Nutrition Survey, cycle III (N=11,930 children ages 2–24 years from years 1988–1994).

The authors also found that Z-scores for WC and WHtR were significantly more strongly associated with cardio-metabolic comorbidities than the more commonly used BMI-Z.

Since Z-scores permit standardized comparisons across ages and genders, WC-Z and WHtR-Z are useful measures of central adiposity in both clinical and research settings. By providing LMS tables for children and adolescents based on North American reference data, the authors hope to provide quantitative tools for the study of obesity and its complications.

Waist circumference and waist-height ratio charts: