Centiles of body mass index for Dutch children aged 0-20 years in 1980--a baseline to assess recent trends in obesity

Ann Hum Biol. 1999 Jul-Aug;26(4):303-8.


Objective: To document the distribution of body mass index (BMI) in Holland in 1980 when obesity was uncommon.

Design: Nationally representative growth survey.

Subjects: Forty-one-thousand boys and girls age 0-20 years.

Method: BMI centiles based on the original height and weight data were derived using the LMS method.

Results: Median BMI showed the familiar pattern of a rise in the first year, followed by a fall, then a second rise after 6 years. The level of overweight was less than for children from the USA, France and Norway measured at the same time or earlier.

Conclusions: Dutch children in 1980 were relatively free of obesity, so the BMI centiles are a suitable baseline to monitor international trends in obesity since then.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology*