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Weight, stature, and body mass index data for Mexican Americans from the third national health and nutrition examination survey (NHANES III, 1988-1994).

Am J Hum Biol 1999 Sep;11(5):673-686

Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories, Columbus, Ohio.

Selected age- and sex-specific percentiles are presented for 4,054 Mexican American children ages 1-18 years who were included in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III, 1988-1994). These percentile values are compared with corresponding percentiles for Mexican Americans from the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HHANES, 1982-1984). In each sex, the weight and weight/stature(2) percentiles from NHANES III were significantly larger than those from HHANES. For weight, the NHANES III values tended to be clearly larger after 11 years in males and females, and they were larger for weight/stature(2) at the 50th and 90th percentiles in each sex after 6 years. For stature, the NHANES III values were significantly larger at the 90th percentile among females, but the differences were not significant for any other percentiles among females or males. In comparison with non-Hispanic White children, Mexican American children tend to be shorter and heavier, especially after the preschool period. The similarity of the findings for stature from NHANES III and HHANES indicates that the shorter statures of Mexican Americans are not cohort-specific. The tendency to larger values for weight/stature(2) in Mexican Americans has important public heath implications since this ratio tends to track after early childhood, and high ratios in adulthood constitute an important risk factor for common diseases such as diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 11:673-686, 1999. Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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September 1999
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