De Onis 2019 Public Health Nutrition

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Publications in the MiPMap
de Onis M, Borghi E, Arimond M, Webb P, Croft T, Saha K, De-Regil LM, Thuita F, Heidkamp R, Krasevec J, Hayashi C, Flores-Ayala R (2019) Prevalence thresholds for wasting, overweight and stunting in children under 5 years. Public Health Nutrition 22:175-9.

» Open Access

de Onis M, Borghi E, Arimond M, Webb P, Croft T, Saha K, De-Regil LM, Thuita F, Heidkamp R, Krasevec J, Hayashi C, Flores-Ayala R (2019) Public Health Nutrition

Abstract: Objective: Prevalence ranges to classify levels of wasting and stunting have been used since the 1990s for global monitoring of malnutrition. Recent developments prompted a re-examination of existing ranges and development of new ones for childhood overweight. The present paper reports from the WHO–UNICEF Technical Expert Advisory Group on Nutrition Monitoring.

Design: Thresholds were developed in relation to sd of the normative WHO Child Growth Standards. The international definition of ‘normal’ (2 sd below/above the WHO standards median) defines the first threshold, which includes 2·3 % of the area under the normalized distribution. Multipliers of this ‘very low’ level (rounded to 2·5 %) set the basis to establish subsequent thresholds. Country groupings using the thresholds were produced using the most recent set of national surveys.

Setting: One hundred and thirty-four countries.

Subjects: Children under 5 years.

Results: For wasting and overweight, thresholds are: ‘very low’ (<2·5 %), ‘low’ (≈1–2 times 2·5 %), ‘medium’ (≈2–4 times 2·5 %), ‘high’ (≈4–6 times 2·5 %) and ‘very high’ (>≈6 times 2·5 %). For stunting, thresholds are: ‘very low’ (<2·5 %), ‘low’ (≈1–4 times 2·5 %), ‘medium’ (≈4–8 times 2·5 %), ‘high’ (≈8–12 times 2·5 %) and ‘very high’ (>≈12 times 2·5 %).

Conclusions: The proposed thresholds minimize changes and keep coherence across anthropometric indicators. They can be used for descriptive purposes to map countries according to severity levels; by donors and global actors to identify priority countries for action; and by governments to trigger action and target programmes aimed at achieving ‘low’ or ‘very low’ levels. Harmonized terminology will help avoid confusion and promote appropriate interventions.


Bioblast editor: Gnaiger E


Publications: BME and height

» Height of humans
 Reference
Bosy-Westphal 2009 Br J NutrBosy-Westphal A, Plachta-Danielzik S, Dörhöfer RP, Müller MJ (2009) Short stature and obesity: positive association in adults but inverse association in children and adolescents. Br J Nutr 102:453-61.
De Onis 2007 Bull World Health Organizationde Onis M, Onyango AW, Borghi E, Siyam A, Nishida C, Siekmann J (2007) Development of a WHO growth reference for school-aged children and adolescents. Bull World Health Organization 85:660-7.
Gnaiger 2019 MiP2019
Erich Gnaiger
OXPHOS capacity in human muscle tissue and body mass excess – the MitoEAGLE mission towards an integrative database (Version 6; 2020-01-12).
Hood 2019 Nutr DiabetesHood K, Ashcraft J, Watts K, Hong S, Choi W, Heymsfield SB, Gautam RK, Thomas D (2019) Allometric scaling of weight to height and resulting body mass index thresholds in two Asian populations. Nutr Diabetes 9:2. doi: 10.1038/s41387-018-0068-3.
Indian Academy of Pediatrics Growth Charts Committee 2015 Indian PediatrIndian Academy of Pediatrics Growth Charts Committee, Khadilkar V, Yadav S, Agrawal KK, Tamboli S, Banerjee M, Cherian A, Goyal JP, Khadilkar A, Kumaravel V, Mohan V, Narayanappa D, Ray I, Yewale V (2015) Revised IAP growth charts for height, weight and body mass index for 5- to 18-year-old Indian children. Indian Pediatr 52:47-55.
Zucker 1962 Committee on Biological Handbooks, Fed Amer Soc Exp BiolZucker TF (1962) Regression of standing and sitting weights on body weight: man. In: Growth including reproduction and morphological development. Altman PL, Dittmer DS, eds: Committee on Biological Handbooks, Fed Amer Soc Exp Biol:336-7.

MitoPedia: BME and mitObesity

» Body mass excess and mitObesity | BME and mitObesity news | Summary |

TermAbbreviationDescription
BME cutoff pointsBME cutoffObesity is defined as a disease associated with an excess of body fat with respect to a healthy reference condition. Cutoff points for body mass excess, BME cutoff points, define the critical values for underweight (-0.1 and -0.2), overweight (0.2), and various degrees of obesity (0.4, 0.6, 0.8, and above). BME cutoffs are calibrated by crossover-points of BME with established BMI cutoffs.
Body fat excessBFEIn the healthy reference population (HRP), there is zero body fat excess, BFE, and the fraction of excess body fat in the HRP is expressed - by definition - relative to the reference body mass, M°, at any given height. Importantly, body fat excess, BFE, and body mass excess, BME, are linearly related, which is not the case for the body mass index, BMI.
Body massm [kg]; M [kg·x-1]The body mass, M, is the mass (kilogram [kg]) of an individual (object) [x] and is expressed in units [kg/x]. Whereas the body weight changes as a function of gravitational force (you are weightless at zero gravity; your floating weight in water is different from your weight in air), your mass is independent of gravitational force, and it is the same in air and water.
Body mass excessBMEThe body mass excess, BME, is an index of obesity and as such BME is a lifestyle metric. The BME is a measure of the extent to which your actual body mass, M [kg/x], deviates from M° [kg/x], which is the reference body mass [kg] per individual [x] without excess body fat in the healthy reference population, HRP. A balanced BME is BME° = 0.0 with a band width of -0.1 towards underweight and +0.2 towards overweight. The BME is linearly related to the body fat excess.
Body mass indexBMIThe body mass index, BMI, is the ratio of body mass to height squared (BMI=M·H-2), recommended by the WHO as a general indicator of underweight (BMI<18.5 kg·m-2), overweight (BMI>25 kg·m-2) and obesity (BMI>30 kg·m-2). Keys et al (1972; see 2014) emphasized that 'the prime criterion must be the relative independence of the index from height'. It is exactly the dependence of the BMI on height - from children to adults, women to men, Caucasians to Asians -, which requires adjustments of BMI-cutoff points. This deficiency is resolved by the body mass excess relative to the healthy reference population.
ComorbidityComorbidities are common in obesogenic lifestyle-induced early aging. These are preventable, non-communicable diseases with strong associations to obesity. In many studies, cause and effect in the sequence of onset of comorbidities remain elusive. Chronic degenerative diseases are commonly obesity-induced. The search for the link between obesity and the etiology of diverse preventable diseases lead to the hypothesis, that mitochondrial dysfunction is the common mechanism, summarized in the term 'mitObesity'.
Healthy reference populationHRPA healthy reference population, HRP, establishes the baseline for the relation between body mass and height in healthy people of zero underweight or overweight, providing a reference for evaluation of deviations towards underweight or overweight and obesity. The WHO Child Growth Standards (WHO-CGS) on height and body mass refer to healthy girls and boys from Brazil, Ghana, India, Norway, Oman and the USA. The Committee on Biological Handbooks compiled data on height and body mass of healthy males from infancy to old age (USA), published before emergence of the fast-food and soft-drink epidemic. Four allometric phases are distinguished with distinct allometric exponents. At heights above 1.26 m/x the allometric exponent is 2.9, equal in women and men, and significantly different from the exponent of 2.0 implicated in the body mass index, BMI [kg/m2].
Height of humansh [m]; H [m·x-1]The height of humans, h, is given in SI units in meters [m]. Humans are countable objects, and the symbol and unit of the number of objects is N [x]. The average height of N objects is, H = h/N [m/x], where h is the heights of all N objects measured on top of each other. Therefore, the height per human has the unit [m·x-1] (compare body mass [kg·x-1]). Without further identifyer, H is considered as the standing height of a human, measured without shoes, hair ornaments and heavy outer garments.
MitObesity drugsBioactive mitObesity compounds are drugs and nutraceuticals with more or less reproducible beneficial effects in the treatment of diverse preventable degenerative diseases implicated in comorbidities linked to obesity, characterized by common mechanisms of action targeting mitochondria.
ObesityObesity is a disease resulting from excessive accumulation of body fat. In common obesity (non-syndromic obesity) excessive body fat is due to an obesogenic lifestyle with lack of physical exercise ('couch') and caloric surplus of food consumption ('potato'), causing several comorbidities which are characterized as preventable non-communicable diseases. Persistent body fat excess associated with deficits of physical activity induces a weight-lifting effect on increasing muscle mass with decreasing mitochondrial capacity. Body fat excess, therefore, correlates with body mass excess up to a critical stage of obesogenic lifestyle-induced sarcopenia, when loss of muscle mass results in further deterioration of physical performance particularly at older age.
VO2maxVO2max; VO2max/MMaximum oxygen consumption, VO2max, is and index of cardiorespiratory fitness, measured by spiroergometry on human and animal organisms capable of controlled physical exercise performance on a treadmill or cycle ergometer. VO2max is the maximum respiration of an organism, expressed as the volume of O2 at STPD consumed per unit of time per individual object [mL.min-1.x-1]. If normalized per body mass of the individual object, M [kg.x-1], mass specific maximum oxygen consumption, VO2max/M, is expressed in units [mL.min-1.kg-1].


Labels: MiParea: Developmental biology  Pathology: Obesity 

Organism: Human 

Preparation: Intact organism 




BMI, BMI-cutoff, Height