Use of Tri-Ponderal Mass Index in Predicting Late Adolescent Overweight and Obesity in Children Aged 7–18

Editor(s):
Wang X, Ma J, Huang S, Dong B, Dong Y, Yang Z, Hu J and Liang W

Standardized methodological approaches have greatly focused on infants and adults, and only recently have they been assessed and applied to adolescent populations. This is particularly true in reference to predictors of weight and adiposity and their relationship to nutrient intake and diet composition. Current reference systems using body mass index (BMI) or BMI z-scores to estimate overweight and obesity risk in adolescents have relatively low predictability. Tri-ponderal mass index (TMI), calculated as weight (kg)/height (m3), is an emerging indicator, which has been suggested to be a better predictor of percent body fat than BMI. This study by Wang et al. assesses TMI compared to BMI as a potentially effective predictor of overweight, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular risk in school-age children. The study aimed to test whether cohort-derived TMI could be efficient for obesity prediction and whether simplified TMI cutoffs could be used in the prediction. Data were obtained from a 12-year retrospective growth cohort followed annually in China and included a total of 17,815 children. The authors find that TMI cutoffs performed better than WHO BMI cutoffs in predicting late adolescent overweight and obesity. The simplified TMI cutoffs used to predict late adolescent overweight and obesity were 13.1 and 14.1 kg/m3 for children aged 7 to 15 years, respectively, and 14.0 and 15.8 kg/m3 for predicting late adolescent overweight and obesity for children aged 16 to 18 years were, respectively. Tri-ponderal mass index may be a promising alternative screening tool to BMI to predict late adolescent overweight and obesity.

Source: Wang X, Ma J, Huang S, Dong B, Dong Y, Yang Z, Hu J and Liang W (2022) Use of Tri-Ponderal Mass Index in Predicting Late Adolescent Overweight and Obesity in Children Aged 7–18. Front. Nutr. 9:785863. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.785863.