Congruence of Three Risk Indices for Obesity in a Population of Adults with Mental Retardation

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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A body mass index (BMI) greater than 27 has been cited as a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes mellitus resulting from excess weight. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between BMI (>27) and two other obesity indices–height-weight and percent body fat–as well as to investigate the relationship between BMI and three blood lipid parameters–total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in 329 adults with mental retardation (MR). Males were significantly taller and heavier than females, but females had a significantly higher BMI. Kendall’s Tau-C revealed a significant association between BMI and each of the following: height-weight, percent body fat, LDL-C, and HDL-C. However, there were a significant number of false negatives and false positives on each of the criteria. The congruence between at-risk BMI and two other obesity parameters (height-weight and percent body fat) in a population of adults with MR is not strong. Professionals should employ the BMI along with skinfold measures to assess a person’s at-risk status for excess weight.

James H. Rimmer is with the Department of Physical Education, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115. David Braddock and Glenn Fujiura are with the Institute on Disability and Human Development in the College of Associated Health Professions, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60608.

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