Body mass index cut-offs for screening for childhood overweight and obesity in Indian children

Indian Pediatr. 2012 Jan;49(1):29-34. doi: 10.1007/s13312-012-0011-y. Epub 2011 May 30.


Objective: To develop age and sex specific cut offs for BMI to screen for overweight and obesity in Indian children linked to an adult BMI of 23 and 28 kg/m2 respectively, using contemporary Indian data.

Design: Cross-sectional.

Setting: Multicentric, School based.

Participants: 19834 children were measured from 11 affluent schools from five major geographical regions of India. Data were analyzed using the LMS method, which constructs growth reference percentiles adjusted for skewness.

Results: Compared to the cut-offs suggested for European populations and those by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics 2007 Guidelines, the age and sex specific cut off points for body mass index for overweight and obesity for Indian children suggested by this study are lower.

Conclusions: Contemporary cross-sectional age and sex specific BMI cut-offs for Indian children linked to Asian cut-offs of 23 and 28 kg/m2 for the assessment of risk of overweight and obesity, respectively are presented.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Growth Charts
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Obesity / diagnosis*
  • Overweight / diagnosis*
  • Reference Values