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BMC Public Health

, 16:33

First Online: 13 January 2016Received: 20 March 2015Accepted: 09 December 2015DOI: 10.1186-s12889-015-2587-3

Cite this article as: Cossio-Bolaños, M., Vilchez-Avaca, C., Contreras-Mellado, V. et al. BMC Public Health 2015 16: 33. doi:10.1186-s12889-015-2587-3


BackgroundStudies based on Body Mass Index BMI and waist circumference WC are generally used to examine the prevalence and tendency of overweight and obesity. These studies help determine the socioeconomic development of a country and improve public health policies. Therefore, the goal of this research was to determine the trend of change in abdominal obesity of Chilean university students according to the Body Mass Index BMI measured in intervals of three and six years.

MethodsFor this study, a total of 1598 students of both sexes ranging in age from 18 to 26 from a Chilean university were evaluated. Students were assessed commencing in 2007 372 males and 315 females, 2010 250 males and 330 females, and ending in 2013 153 males and 178 females. During the three transversal assessments, weight, height, and waist circumference were evaluated. BMI was calculated for both sexes.

ResultsNo significant differences were found in age and BMI during the three years evaluated 2007, 2010, and 2013. In 2013, waist circumference WC increased significantly p < 0.001 for both sexes. Moreover, in 2013, in all the percentiles evaluated, high values of WC were compared in relation to previous years. Furthermore, in 2013, in all four BMI categories underweight, normal, overweight, and obese, the university students showed significant increases in WC Females: p = 0.004; Males: p = 0.035 whereas in 2007 and 2010, the values remained relatively stable.

ConclusionsBMI remained constant during 2007, 2010, and 2013. However, the university students of both sexes showed greater risk of abdominal obesity as a result of increased WC in 2013.

AbbreviationsBMIBody Mass Index

WCWaist circumference

SDStandard deviation

UTALUniversity of Talca, Lircay Campus

TMETechnical Measurement Error

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Autor: Marco Cossio-Bolaños - Catalina Vilchez-Avaca - Victor Contreras-Mellado - Cynthia Lee Andruske - Rossana Gómez-Campos


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