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Keywords:

  • Body mass index;
  • Childhood;
  • Head circumference;
  • Height;
  • Obesity;
  • Weight

Abstract

Aim:  A methodological inadequacy in anthropometric measurements of children exists because of an age-dependent decelerating contribution of the head to body weight (Wt) and height (Ht). Hence, we aimed to assess the contribution of head measurements to anthropometry (Ht, Wt and BMI) in healthy prepubertal children.

Methods:  This prospective study was conducted in 300 2- to 9-year-old typically growing children. Head-excluded (HE) Ht was determined by a stadiometer that measured the distance from the foot plate to the lower margin of protuberance occipitalis externa. Head’s weight was calculated from the head volume using three different measurements of the head circumference.

Results:  In the typically growing children, the HE/standard (STD) ratios for Wt and Ht increased significantly with age (p < 0.001 for both), but the HE/STD ratio for BMI did not increase with age.

Conclusion:  Measurement of body Wt and Ht while excluding the head’s Wt and Ht provides a new dimension to standard anthropometry by eliminating the age-dependent head bias with its unique pattern of growth and minimal adipose tissue.