Criteria for medical intervention in obese children: a new definition of 'obesity disease' in Japanese children

Pediatr Int. 2003 Oct;45(5):642-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1442-200x.2003.01795.x.


The Committee of the Japan Society for the Study of Obesity reported the new criteria for 'obesity disease' for Japanese adults in 2000. We defined the criteria for the diagnosis of obesity in children with medical problems, corresponding to the 'obesity disease' criteria in adults. Obesity in childhood was defined as follows: percentage of overweight (POW) and body fat exceeded the criteria. 'Obesity disease in childhood' was defined as obesity associated with health or medical problems, and with indications for medical intervention. Medical problems with indications for immediate intervention were grouped as A problems, which consisted of (i). hypertension; (ii). sleep apnea or hypoventilation; (iii). Type 2 diabetes mellitus or impaired glucose tolerance; and (iv). increased waist circumference or accumulation of visceral adipose tissue. Metabolic derangements or equivalent associated with obesity were grouped as B problems: (i). liver dysfunction; (ii). hyperinsulinemia; (iii). hypercholesterolemia; (iv). hypertriglyceridemia; (v). low serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; (vi). acanthosis nigricans, and (vii). hyperuricemia. Obese children over 5 years of age with following conditions were diagnosed as 'obesity disease in childhood': (i). any 'A problem', (ii) POW >or= 50% and any 'B problem', or (3) POW < 50% and more than one 'B problem' or equivalent. We decided to take physicosocial problems related to obesity into consideration as the criteria. The resultant criteria are proposed by the Committee for Research of Appropriate Body Build in Children*.

MeSH terms

  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Body Composition
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Obesity* / classification
  • Obesity* / therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Terminology as Topic