Use of Leg Length to Height Ratio to Assess the Risk of Childhood Overweight and Obesity: Results From a Longitudinal Cohort Study
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PURPOSE: To determine whether leg-length to height ratio (LLHR) measured in children can be used to assess overweight and obese status 3 years later. METHODS: A total of 1166 children from South Ontario, Canada, were assessed in grade five and again in grade eight were included in this analysis. On the basis of LLHR gender-specific quartile cutoffs in grade five, children were categorized into four groups (Q1[low]-Q4). Gender and age specific cutoffs of body mass index were used to categorize children as overweight/obese or normal weight in grade eight. Multiple logistic regression models were used to examine the overweight/obesity risk association with LLHR. RESULTS: In comparing those in Q1 of LLHR, we found the odds ratios (OR, 95% confidence interval) of overweight/obese for those in the Q2-Q4 were 0.60 (0.29-1.21), 0.43 (0.21-0.89), and 0.32 (0.15-0.70) for boys and 0.77 (0.36-1.64), 0.60 (0.28-1.29), and 0.27 (0.12-0.62) for girls, respectively. The overweight/obesity risk association with LLHR remains after removing those who were considered overweight/obese at grade five. CONCLUSIONS: LLHR is associated with risk of childhood overweight/obesity. Further studies are warranted to investigate the role of LLHR on development of obesity.