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Percentile distributions of waist circumference for 7–19-year-old Polish children and adolescents


Dr L Ostrowska Nawarycz, Department of Biophysics Chair of Basic and Pre-clinical Sciences, Medical University in Lodz, Haller Squer 1, 90-647 Lodz, Poland. E-mail:


The aim of the study was to develop waist circumference (WC) percentiles in Polish children and youth and to compare these with the results obtained in other countries. The study comprised a random group of 5663 Polish children aged 7–18 years. Smoothed WC percentile curves were computed using the LMS method. The curves displaying the values of the 50th (WC50) and the 90th (WC90) percentile were then compared with the results of similar studies carried out in children from the UK, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Cyprus, Canada and the USA. WC increased with age in both boys and girls and in all observed age periods the boys were seen to dominate. For 18-year-old Polish boys and girls the values of WC90 were 86.5 and 78.2, respectively, and were lower than the current criteria developed by the International Diabetes Federation. Both WC50 and WC90 were higher in Polish boys and girls compared with their counterparts in the UK, Turkey and Canada and significantly lower than in children from the USA, Cyprus and Spain. The percentile curves for Polish children and youth, which were developed here for the first time, are base curves that can be applied in analysing trends as well as making comparisons with results of similar studies performed in other countries.