To examine changes in the age-specific prevalence of overweight and obesity in Japanese children between 2000 and 2005 and compare Japanese centile curves with international ones.
A large, Japanese, representative cross-sectional growth study.
Japanese children aged 5–17 years, including 669 986 subjects in 2000, 670 143 in 2001, 668 760 in 2002, 670 785 in 2003, 669 120 in 2004 and 668 234 in 2005.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children aged 5–17 years decreased from 2000 to 2005 in both males and females, according to the definitions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the International Obesity Taskforce. For each year, the centile curves were drawn so that at age 17 years they passed through respectively 24·46 kg/m2 and 24·70 kg/m2 for males, and 29·41 kg/m2 and 29·69 kg/m2 for females, which are the BMI values at age 17 years from the international reference curves.
The study results indicate that centile curves can change according to the time of observation, thus suggesting that international reference curves therefore need to be regularly revised while including more data from a larger range of countries.
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