Waist Circumference Values of Nigerian Children and Adolescents

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This study aimed to determine the waist circumference (WC) of apparently healthy Nigerian children and adolescents and to compare the obtained values with available data for children from other parts of the world.


A representative sample of children from 7 schools in Abeokuta, a state capital in South West Nigeria, was selected using the multi-staged random sampling technique. The sample population consisted of 570 children with ages ranging from 5 to 19 years.


WC increased with age in both sexes. The mean value of WC of children aged 5-9 years was about the same in both sexes (p = 0.113). However, in children older than 9 years, females had higher WCs than males (p = 0.000). Comparison of the 50th percentile WC of Nigerian children with that of American and Spanish children showed that both Nigerian male and female children had the lowest WC values. However, the values were similar to British male children up to 9 years and female children up to 14 years.


The WC value varied with age, sex and race. These data are expected to serve as a baseline against which future data can be compared.

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