Comparison of Body Mass Index and fat percentage criteria classification of 7–13 year-old rural boys in South Africa

Maya van Gent, Anita Pienaar, Habib Noorbhai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: The aim of this paper was to investigate whether BMI and fat percentage classification criteria, would classify a sample of 7–13 year old boys from a rural background in similar nutritional categories. Methods: A cross-sectional study with a stratified random sampling included 601 rural boys (7–13 years old). Fat percentage criteria classification and BMI were calculated and compared. Maturity status, and age at peak height velocity (PHV) were indirectly determined. Statistical techniques included descriptive statistics, Pearson product correlation coefficients, the Kappa agreement test and the McNemar’s test. The level of statistical significance was set at p ≤ 0.05. Results: All age groups presented with statistically significant high correlations between BMI and fat percentage, and low to medium correlations between fat percentage and maturity age (MA). Measurement of agreement between BMI and fat percentage classifications showed poor to fair agreements for all age groups, with the exception of the eight-year old group which presented a moderate agreement. Conclusions: Classifications based on BMI and fat percentage, results in different classifications for the same population. Until further research has been done to determine the best classification for nutritional status, it is recommended that both classification methods be used for more accurate classification of nutritional status.

Original languageEnglish
Article number527
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Anthropometry
  • Body Composition
  • Children
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health


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