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Increasing prevalence of obesity in primary school children: cohort study

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 05 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1094
  1. Mary C J Rudolf (, community paediatriciana,
  2. Pinki Sahota, senior lecturer in nutrition and dieteticsb,
  3. Julian H Barth, consultant in chemical pathology and metabolic medicinec,
  4. Jenny Walker, auxologistc
  1. a Community Paediatrics, Leeds Community and Mental Health Trust, Leeds LS2 9NP
  2. b School of Health Sciences, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds LS1 3HE
  3. c Regional Paediatric Endocrinology Clinic, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3EX
  1. Correspondence to: M C J Rudolf
  • Accepted 21 December 2000

Participants, methods, and results

From 1996 to 1999 an auxologist (JW) measured children in 10 primary schools in Leeds participating in a health promotion programme.3 Children in years 3 and 4 (age 7-9 years) were measured in July 1996 and again in July 1997 and 1998. These children were marginally more advantaged than average for Leeds, with 1-42% of pupils from ethnic minorities and 7-29% entitled to free school meals (a measure of social disadvantage).

Height was measured to 0.1 cm with a free standing Magnimeter stadiometer (Raven, Dunmow). Weights were recorded to 0.1 kg without shoes or jumpers. The mean of three triceps measurements was taken.4 Body mass index (weight (kg)/(height (m)2)) was calculated and converted to standard deviation scores using the revised 1990 reference standards5 and the Tanner Whitehouse (1975) standards for skinfold thickness.4 The following conventional …

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