The prevalence of abdominal obesity is remarkable for underweight and normal weight adolescent girls


Abstract: Background/aim: Obesity is a global public health challenge. This study was carried out in order to determine the prevalence of obesity and abdominal obesity in Turkish adolescent girls. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a total of 1111 adolescent girls aged 12?18 years. The subjects were classified into four groups: underweight, normal, overweight, and obese. Abdominal obesity was defined according to waist circumference (WC) $\geq$ 90th percentile for Turkish adolescent population references (12-17 years) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) $\geq$ 0.5. Results: The prevalence of underweight was 17.4%, normal weight 68.5%, overweight 12.1%, and obese 2.0%. A total of 16.9% subjects were abdominal obese based on WC and 10.4% based on WHtR. When the four groups were evaluated in terms of abdominal obesity status, prevalence was 6.4% and 2.6% in the underweight, 14.6% and 5.8% in the normal, 60.0% and 37.3% in the overweight, and 88.8% and 77.3% in the obese groups according to WC and WHtR, respectively. Both WC (r: 0.332) and WHtR (r: 0.156) were positively correlated with age (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The prevalence of abdominal obesity was found at high levels for overweight and obese adolescents. It should be emphasized that abdominal obesity is a condition that should be considered for underweight and normal adolescents as well. Therefore, abdominal obesity should be regularly assessed for nonobese adolescents to prevent cardiovascular risks, metabolic syndrome, and other related disease.

Keywords: Adolescents, abdominal obesity, waist circumference, waist?height ratio

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