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Body Mass Exponential Index: An Age-Independent Anthropometric Nutritional Assessment

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1101943    985 Downloads   1,552 Views  
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ABSTRACT

Background: Body mass index (BMI) is a squared-height power function. Nevertheless, some studies show a significant exponential weight-height correlation. Objectives: To demonstrate that the weight-height relationship from 2 to 20 years of age is better expressed by an exponential function. Design: 5th, 50th and 85th percentile weight-height curves according CDC 2000 Growth Charts. A theoretical curve was created with the data on the 50th percentiles of weight and height for each age, equivalent to the 50th percentile of the weight-for-height curve. The statistical analysis was performed applying regression analysis of the curve estimation in the power and exponential models. Results: The exponential model correlation coefficient is higher than the power model. The exponential model variable (1.9 in boys, 2 in girls) was standardized to 2 to establish the body mass exponential index (BMEI): weight/exp(2*height). Weight-for-age and exponential height-for-age fiftieth percentile curves show a stable age-independent ratio near 2. These ratios are 1.5 and 2.5 for the 5th and 85th percentiles, respectively. The shape of the well-known curve BMI-for-age is due to the disparity between a exponential curve and a power curve. Conclusions: An exponential function expresses the weight-height relationship during growth better than a power function. A BMEI of 2 with limits of 1.5 and 2.5 is useful for screening nutritional status during growth, and the weight-for-height chart is an ideal substitute for the BMI-for-age chart. The BMI-for-age curve shape and the disproportional BMI in taller children are mathematical artifacts without biological meanings.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Cidrás, M. (2015) Body Mass Exponential Index: An Age-Independent Anthropometric Nutritional Assessment. Open Access Library Journal, 2, 1-8. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1101943.

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