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[Correspondence] Determining the worldwide prevalence of obesity

The NCD Risk Factor Collaboration study (Dec 16, 2017, p 2627)1 is a landmark description of the progress of the obesity pandemic, but substantially underestimates the scale of the problem. The study1 defined obesity using body-mass index (BMI) in adults and BMI-for-age in children and adolescents. Systematic reviews2–4 of a large amount of high-quality and consistent evidence show that the use of BMI to define obesity (the degree of excess body fat) is highly specific, but has low to moderate sensitivity.

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