Assessment of the validity of multiple obesity indices compared with obesity-related co-morbidities

Jaeeun Myung, Kyung Yoon Jung, Tae Hyun Kim, Euna Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim of the present study was to compare selected obesity indicators with comprehensive health status. Design: The study employed a pooled cross-sectional design. Setting: BMI, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and body fat percentage were considered as indirect obesity indicators. The Edmonton Obesity Staging System (EOSS) was used as a composite indicator to comprehensively reflect obesity-related co-morbidities. Cohen's κ coefficient was used to evaluate inter-measurement agreement for obesity. Conformity of indirect obesity indicators to the EOSS was assessed based on percentage agreement (proportion classified as obese and severely unhealthy as a result of obesity among the total sample), sensitivity (proportion classified as obese among individuals severely unhealthy as a result of obesity) and specificity (proportion classified as non-obese among fairly healthy individuals). Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the sociodemographic factors most strongly associated with conformity. Participants: The study included 17338 adults from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination survey conducted between July 2008 and May 2011. Results: Level of conformity to the EOSS was highest for WHtR (60.77 %) and lowest for BMI (35.96 %). WHtR and BMI had the highest sensitivity (53.7 %) and specificity (98.4 %), respectively. Predictability of conformity was lower among men for all indirect obesity indicators. Conclusions: WHtR has the greatest potential to identify individuals at risk of health problems due to obesity. Individual demographic factors must be considered in selecting the most appropriate obesity measurement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1249
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research support from the Korea National Research Foundation (grant number 2017R1A2B4003373) is gratefully acknowledged. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official view of the Korea National Research Foundation. The Korea National Research Foundation had no involvement in the preparation and submission of this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of the validity of multiple obesity indices compared with obesity-related co-morbidities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this