Public Release: 

Documenting obesity and underweight in clinical dental settings

International & American Associations for Dental Research

Los Angeles, Calif., USA - A hands-on workshop titled "Documenting Obesity and Underweight in Clinical Dental Settings" will take place today at the 45th Annual Meeting & Exhibition of the American Association for Dental Research. The AADR Annual Meeting is being held in conjunction with the 40th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research.

This hands-on workshop will review the literature on body weight and oral health, and the strengths and limitations of tools for assessing a patient's degree of obesity or underweight. Two-thirds of the adult US population is overweight or obese, and obesity among children is a growing problem. Obesity has been shown to be a risk factor for periodontal diseases and dental caries. Although the precise mechanisms to explain the association have not been determined, they may include the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines from fat tissue, increased potential for insulin resistance and diabetes, and overconsumption of foods that increase the inflammatory burden. At the other end of the spectrum, underweight and unintentional weight loss may be signs of medical disease that can impact oral health.

Patient dental records are a potentially rich source of data that researchers can use to examine links between oral health and body composition. However, dental records often lack information on basic anthropometric measures such as height and weight. Systematic measurement and documentation of height, weight, and other body size indices is inexpensive, noninvasive, and quick, and can be performed in a variety of health care settings, including dental offices and clinics.

The learning objectives include: understand the strengths and limitations of studies of associations between weight and oral health; learning to measure and interpret weight, height, and arm and waist circumferences; and learning to compute and interpret body mass index, and track children's growth using growth charts. Participants will perform height and weight measurements and calculate body mass index (BMI) using online calculators. Participants also will learn to track weight and height changes of children using growth charts, measure arm and waist circumferences and compare results to obesity standards.

This is a summary of the hands-on workshop titled "Documenting Obesity and Underweight in Clinical Dental Settings," which will be presented on Thursday, March 17, 2016, 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. at the Los Angeles Convention Center, room #501A.


About the American Association for Dental Research

The American Association for Dental Research (AADR), headquartered in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit organization with more than 3,700 members in the United States. Its mission is: (1) to advance research and increase knowledge for the improvement of oral health; (2) to support and represent the oral health research community; and (3) to facilitate the communication and application of research findings. AADR is the largest Division of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). To learn more about the AADR, visit

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