A cross-sectional study to validate neck circumference, waist circumference, wrist circumference and mid upper arm circumference as a screening tool for overweight in adolescents at school of Ahmedabad city

Shraddha V Halpara, Khyati M Kakkad, Hardik R Parmar, Vaishali J Prajapati


Background: Obesity is a major health problem in children & adults. Due to physiological changes during growing up in children and adolescents, it is difficult to develop one simple index for measurement of overweight & obesity. So, this study was carried out to identify simple methods like neck, waist, wrist, and mid upper arm circumference used as screening tools for overweight & obesity.
Objective: To correlate neck, waist, wrist & mid upper arm circumference with BMI for prediction of overweight.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study done on healthy urban school going children in the age group of 9 -17 years old. After measuring height and weight, BMI (body mass index) was calculated and nutritional status was classified. BMI was compared to neck, waist, wrist & mid upper arm
circumferences to find out correlation. Cut off values of all four parameters to predict overweight & obesity were obtained by analysing the ROC (receiver operating characteristics) curve.
Result: Total 907 students of age group 9 to 17 years old were screened. Correlation of Neck circumference (NC), Waist circumference (WC), Wrist Circumference (WrC) and Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) with BMI by Pearson’s correlation coefficient were correlated positively. The bland Altman
plots showed higher concentration of points at the 95% limit of agreement (1.96 SD) and that the mean difference in Z-score of two tests was equal or close to zero. AUROC for NC was 0.81, for WC 0.9, for WrC 0.811 and for MUAC 0.893.
Conclusion: Neck circumference, Waist circumference, Wrist circumference and Mid upper arm circumference can be used as a screening test for predicting overweight or obesity in adolescents.

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