[en] Adolescent ; Americas ; Asia ; Body Height ; Body Mass Index ; Body Weight ; Child ; Europe ; Humans ; Obesity/diagnosis ; Reference Values ; Skinfold Thickness
[en] A survey of information from 26 countries was performed to examine the methods, cutoff points, and reference materials used to define obesity in childhood and adolescence. The body mass index (in kg/m2) was used frequently, as well as several other methods. Reference materials used were often based on national surveys, although reference data from other countries were sometimes used. The data presented was often insufficient to judge the representativeness of the reference material. Cutoff points varied considerably. Available data allow neither a meaningful international estimation of the prevalence of obesity nor international comparisons. Although associated with considerable problems, this situation can be improved with an international consensus which, by necessity, will be riddled with uncertainties and compromises.