J Korean Med Sci.  2013 Mar;28(3):443-449. 10.3346/jkms.2013.28.3.443.

Body Fat Percentile Curves for Korean Children and Adolescents: A Data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2010

  • 1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Dankook University, Yongin, Korea.
  • 2Division of Health and Nutrition Survey, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongwon, Korea. kwoh27@korea.kr


A valid assessment of obesity in children and adolescents is important due to significant change in body composition during growth. This study aimed to develop percentile curves of body fat and fat free mass using the Lambda, Mu, and Sigma method, and to examine the relationship among body mass index (BMI), fat mass and fat free mass in Korean children and adolescents, using the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2009-2010. The study subjects were 834 for boys and 745 for girls aged between 10 and 18 yr. Fat mass and fat free mass were measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. The patterns of development in body fat percentage, fat mass and fat free mass differed for boys and girls, showing a decreased fat mass with an increased fat free mass in boys but gradual increases with age in girls. The considerable proportion of boys and girls with relatively normal fat mass appeared to be misclassified to be at risk of overweight based on the BMI criteria. Therefore, the information on the percentiles of body fat and fat free mass with their patterns would be helpful to complement assessment of overweight and obesity based on BMI for Korean children and adolescents.


Body Mass Index; Fat Mass; Fat Free Mass; Children and Adolescents; KNHANES; DXA; Overweight

MeSH Terms

Absorptiometry, Photon
Adipose Tissue/*radiography
Age Factors
Asian Continental Ancestry Group
Body Composition
Body Mass Index
Body Weight
*Nutrition Surveys
Republic of Korea
Sex Factors
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