Standardized centile curves of body mass index for Japanese children and adolescents based on the 1978-1981 national survey data

Mikako Inokuchi, Tomonobu Hasegawa, Makoto Anzo, Nobutake Matsuo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

60 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The prevalence of overweight among Japanese children and adolescents has steadily increased during the last 20 years. Thus, we utilized the 1978-1981 data collected by the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry to construct reference curves of body mass index (BMI) for contemporary Japanese children and adolescents. Methods: BMI reference values were derived using the LMS method as based on height and weight data from the cross-sectional national survey of Japanese children and adolescents conducted in 1978-1981 (14 012 boys and 13 781 girls, aged 1.5-18.5 years). Results: The Japanese BMI reference curves were constructed for clinical use. The centile values at the upper end of the spectrum apparently differed in British, Dutch, Japanese, and US children and adolescents. In contrast, the centile values at the lower end of the spectrum nearly overlapped with each other in the four populations. Conclusions: Overweight is concentrated in a subgroup of children and does not occur across the entire population of British, Dutch, Japanese, and US children, indicating a subgroup of genetically and/or environmentally more susceptible children in each country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-453
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jul 1



  • Body mass index
  • Cross-sectional study
  • Ethnic difference
  • LMS method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Physiology
  • Ageing
  • Genetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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