How to define obesity? Evidence-based multiple action points for public awareness, screening, and treatment: an extension of Asian-Pacific recommendations

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17(3):370-4.


Metabolic risks are greater in Asians than Caucasians at a given body mass index (BMI). It is generally accepted that the BMI cut-off points for defining overweight and obesity should be lower for Asians. However, the percent body fat at a given BMI and metabolic responses to fatness vary among the different ethnic groups in Asia. Therefore, roughly even-spaced multiple action points (i.e., BMIs of 23, 25, 27.5, 30, 32.5, 35 and 37.5) have been advocated for managing obesity in Asians. We propose here evidence-based ethnicity-specific action points for public awareness, screening, and treatment that take into consideration sensitivity, specificity, and positive/negative predictive values for cardiovascular disease and/or metabolic syndromes, which are the most preva-lent adverse consequences of obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asian People / classification*
  • Awareness
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Ethnicity
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mass Screening / standards
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / ethnology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / mortality
  • Obesity / classification*
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Factors