Traditionally, body mass index (BMI) percentile has been used to identify overweight and obesity in children. Although this measure isn’t without pitfalls, it’s often seen as the best option.
This week Chaput et al. proposed a new screening tool for obesity in children: mid-upper arm circumference. The authors collected anthropometric measurements, including BMI and mid-upper arm circumference, from 7337 children (9 – 11 years) across 12 countries; their findings demonstrated that arm circumference was an accurate measurement when compared to other adiposity indicators in children.
Although mid-upper arm range will need to be tested across a larger range of ages in childhood, these are promising results that are potentially indicative of a practical tool to screen for obesity in children.