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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


BURROWS A, Raquel; DIAZ S, Nora  y  MUZZO, Santiago. Variations of body mass index (BMI) according to degree of pubertal development. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2004, vol.132, n.11, pp.1363-1368. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Body mass index (BMI) is the recommended parameter to assess the nutritional status of subjects aged less than 20 years. However, during puberty the correlation between BMI and fat mass decreases notably. Therefore, the use of BMI for the diagnosis of obesity during puberty may be misleading. Aim: To evaluate the variations of the BMI during puberty according to chronological and biological ages. Material and methods: Descriptive cross sectional study in school age children of elementary and high schools (4,531 males and 5,326 females) representing all socioeconomic strata of 4 regions of Chile. BMI was calculated from weight and height measurements (W/H2) and pubertal development was evaluated according to Tanner stages. The sample selected to evaluate the variations of BMI according to chronological age and pubertal stages consisted in 3,913 females aged 8-14 years and 2,494 males aged 10-16 years. Analyses of variance (F test) and Tukey HSD test were used to compare mean BMI according to chronological and biological ages. Results: The age of onset of puberty (Tanner Stages IB2 and G2) varied greatly, from 8 to 14 years in females and 10 to 16 years in males. Mean BMI in a specific stage of pubertal development did not show significant differences according to age in both sexes. However, there were significant differences (p <0.05) in mean BMI when comparing children of the same chronological age but in different Tanner stages. Per each stage of Tanner development, BMI increased 1.0 or more points among females and 0.6 points among males. Conclusions: During puberty, BMI is associated to biological and not chronological age

Palabras clave : Body mass index; Nutritional status; Puberty.

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