Trends in thin body stature among Japanese male adolescents, 2003-2012

Mikako Inokuchi, Nobutake Matsuo, John I. Takayama, Tomonobu Hasegawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The desire for thin body stature and unhealthy eating behaviours have spread among Japanese boys. The prevalence of thinness in boys is expected to increase; however, recent trends have not been reported. Aim: To describe changes in the distribution of body mass index (BMI) of Japanese boys, from 2003 to 2012. Subjects and methods: BMI distribution changes were studied in 2599 relatively affluent Japanese children and adolescents, aged 12.5-17.5 years, during 2003-2012. The 2003 and 2004 data were combined and compared to the combined 2011 and 2012 data. Tukey mean-difference plots were used to study the direction and magnitude of shifts in BMI distributions. Results: Prevalence of thinness has progressively increased from 2.8-4.7% in 2003-2004 to 5.1-7.6% in 2011-2012 in Japanese boys. Tukey plots showed that the increases in the prevalence of thinness are related to shifts in the entire distribution of BMI in the sample. Conclusion: Thin body stature was documented in increasing proportion of Japanese male adolescents. BMI z-scores decreased across the entire BMI centile spectrums, indicating that the whole school population may be at risk of thinness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-281
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1


  • Adolescence
  • Body mass index
  • Extreme centiles
  • Mean-difference plot
  • Rose model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Physiology
  • Ageing
  • Genetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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