Andersen 2013 Int J Circumpolar Health

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Andersen S, Fleischer Rex K, Noahsen P, Sørensen HC, Mulvad G, Laurberg P (2013) Raised BMI cut-off for overweight in Greenland Inuit--a review. Int J Circumpolar Health 2013 Aug 5;72. doi: 10.3402/ijch.v72i0.21086.

» PMID: 23986904 Open Access

Andersen S, Fleischer Rex K, Noahsen P, Sørensen HC, Mulvad G, Laurberg P (2013) Int J Circumpolar Health

Abstract: Obesity is associated with increased morbidity and premature death. Obesity rates have increased worldwide and the WHO recommends monitoring. A steep rise in body mass index (BMI), a measure of adiposity, was detected in Greenland from 1963 to 1998. Interestingly, the BMI starting point was in the overweight range. This is not conceivable in a disease-free, physically active, pre-western hunter population.

This led us to reconsider the cut-off point for overweight among Inuit in Greenland.

We found 3 different approaches to defining the cut-off point of high BMI in Inuit. First, the contribution to the height by the torso compared to the legs is relatively high. This causes relatively more kilograms per centimetre of height that increases the BMI by approximately 10 % compared to Caucasian whites. Second, defining the cut-off by the upper 90-percentile of BMI from height and weight in healthy young Inuit surveyed in 1963 estimated the cut-off point to be around 1 0% higher compared to Caucasians. Third, if similar LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides are assumed for a certain BMI in Caucasians, the corresponding BMI in Inuit in both Greenland and Canada is around 10 % higher. However, genetic admixture of Greenland Inuit and Caucasian Danes will influence this difference and hamper a clear distinction with time.

Defining overweight according to the WHO cut-off of a BMI above 25 kg/m(2) in Greenland Inuit may overestimate the number of individuals with elevated BMI.

Bioblast editor: Gnaiger E

Labels: MiParea: Comparative MiP;environmental MiP, Exercise physiology;nutrition;life style  Pathology: Obesity