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an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. People are considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by the square of the person's height in metres, exceeds 30 kg/m2. Classification Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health. It is defined by body mass index (BMI) and further evaluated in terms of fat distribution via the waisthip ratio and total cardiovascular risk factors. BMI is closely related to both percentage body fat and total body fat.

BMI < 18.5 18.524.9 25.029.9 30.034.9 35.039.9 40.0 Classification underweight normal weight overweight class I obesity class II obesity class III obesity

In children, a healthy weight varies with age and sex. Obesity in children and adolescents is defined not as an absolute number but in relation to a historical normal group, such that obesity is a BMI greater than the 95th percentile. The reference data on which these percentiles were based date from 1963 to 1994, and thus have not been affected by the recent increases in weight.

BMI is defined as the subject's mass divided by the square of their height, expressed kilograms per square meter and calculated as:

Introduction

A measure of central tendency is a single value that attempts to describe a set of data by identifying the central position within that set of data. As such, measures of central tendency are sometimes called measures of central location. They are also classed as summary statistics. The mean (often called the average) is most likely the measure of central tendency that you are most familiar with, but there are others, such as the median and the mode. The mean, median and mode are all valid measures of central tendency, but under different conditions, some measures of central tendency become more appropriate to use than others. In the following sections, we will look at the mean, mode and median, and learn how to calculate them and under what conditions they are most appropriate to be used.

Mean

The mean (or average) is the most popular and well known measure of central tendency. It can be used with both discrete and continuous data, although its use is most often with continuous data (see our Types of Variable guide for data types). The mean is equal to the sum of all the values in the data set divided by the number of values in the data set. So, if we have n values in a data set and they have values x1, x2, ..., xn, the sample mean, usually denoted by (pronounced x bar), is:

This formula is usually written in a slightly different manner using the Greek capitol letter, , pronounced "sigma", which means "sum of...":

You may have noticed that the above formula refers to the sample mean. So, why have we called it a sample mean? This is because, in statistics, samples and populations have very different meanings and these differences are very important, even if, in the case of the mean, they are calculated in the same way. To acknowledge that we are calculating the population mean and not the sample mean, we use the Greek lower case letter "mu", denoted as :

The mean is essentially a model of your data set. It is the value that is most common. You will notice, however, that the mean is not often one of the actual values that you have observed in your data set. However, one of its important properties is that it minimises error in the prediction of any one value in your data set. That is, it is the value that produces the lowest amount of error from all other values in the data set.

An important property of the mean is that it includes every value in your data set as part of the calculation. In addition, the mean is the only measure of central tendency where the sum of the deviations of each value from the mean is always zero. When not to use the mean The mean has one main disadvantage: it is particularly susceptible to the influence of outliers. These are values that are unusual compared to the rest of the data set by being especially small or large in numerical value. For example, consider the wages of staff at a factory below:

Staff Salary 1 15k 2 18k 3 16k 4 14k 5 15k 6 15k 7 12k 8 17k 9 90k 10 95k

The mean salary for these ten staff is $30.7k. However, inspecting the raw data suggests that this mean value might not be the best way to accurately reflect the typical salary of a worker, as most workers have salaries in the $12k to 18k range. The mean is being skewed by the two large salaries. Therefore, in this situation, we would like to have a better measure of central tendency. As we will find out later, taking the median would be a better measure of central tendency in this situation. Another time when we usually prefer the median over the mean (or mode) is when our data is skewed (i.e., the frequency distribution for our data is skewed). If we consider the normal distribution - as this is the most frequently assessed in statistics - when the data is perfectly normal, the mean, median and mode are identical. Moreover, they all represent the most typical value in the data set. However, as the data becomes skewed the mean loses its ability to provide the best central location for the data because the skewed data is dragging it away from the typical value. However, the median best retains this position and is not as strongly influenced by the skewed values. This is explained in more detail in the skewed distribution section later in this guide.

Median

The median is the middle score for a set of data that has been arranged in order of magnitude. The median is less affected by outliers and skewed data. In order to calculate the median, suppose we have the data below:

65 55 89 56 35 14 56 55 87 45 92

We first need to rearrange that data into order of magnitude (smallest first):

14 35 45 55 55 56 56 65 87 89 92

Our median mark is the middle mark - in this case, 56 (highlighted in bold). It is the middle mark because there are 5 scores before it and 5 scores after it. This works fine when you have an odd number of scores, but what happens when you have an even number of scores? What if you had only 10 scores? Well, you simply have to take the middle two scores and average the result. So, if we look at the example below:

65 55 89 56 35 14 56 55 87 45

14 35 45 55 55 56 56 65 87 89 92

Only now we have to take the 5th and 6th score in our data set and average them to get a median of 55.5.

Mode

The mode is the most frequent score in our data set. On a histogram it represents the highest bar in a bar chart or histogram. You can, therefore, sometimes consider the mode as being the most popular option. An example of a mode is presented below:

Normally, the mode is used for categorical data where we wish to know which is the most common category, as illustrated below:

We can see above that the most common form of transport, in this particular data set, is the bus. However, one of the problems with the mode is that it is not unique, so it leaves us with problems when we have two or more values that share the highest frequency, such as below:

We are now stuck as to which mode best describes the central tendency of the data. This is particularly problematic when we have continuous data because we are more likely not to have any one value that is more frequent than the other. For example, consider measuring 30 peoples' weight (to the nearest 0.1 kg). How likely is it that we will find two or more people with exactly the same weight (e.g., 67.4 kg)? The answer, is probably very unlikely - many people might be close, but with such a small sample (30 people) and a large range of possible weights, you are unlikely to find two people with exactly the same weight; that is, to the nearest 0.1 kg. This is why the mode is very rarely used with continuous data.

Another problem with the mode is that it will not provide us with a very good measure of central tendency when the most common mark is far away from the rest of the data in the data set, as depicted in the diagram below:

In the above diagram the mode has a value of 2. We can clearly see, however, that the mode is not representative of the data, which is mostly concentrated around the 20 to 30 value range. To use the mode to describe the central tendency of this data set would be misleading.

Please use the following summary table to know what the best measure of central tendency is with respect to the different types of variable.

Type of Variable Nominal Ordinal Interval/Ratio (not skewed) Interval/Ratio (skewed) Best measure of central tendency Mode Median Mean Median

There can often be a "best" measure of central tendency with regards to the data you are analysing, but there is no one "best" measure of central tendency. This is because whether you use the median, mean or mode will depend on the type of data you have, such as nominal or continuous data; whether your data has outliers and/or is skewed; and what you are trying to show from your data.

It is usually inappropriate to use the mean in such situations where your data is skewed. You would normally choose the median or mode, with the median usually preferred.

Yes and no. All continuous data has a median, mode and mean. However, strictly speaking, ordinal data has a median and mode only, and nominal data has only a mode. However, a consensus has not been reached among statisticians about whether the mean can be used with ordinal data, and you can often see a mean reported for Likert data in research.

The mean is usually the best measure of central tendency to use when your data distribution is continuous and symmetrical, such as when your data is normally distributed. However, it all depends on what you are trying to show from your data.

The mode is the least used of the measures of central tendency and can only be used when dealing with nominal data. For this reason, the mode will be the best measure of central tendency (as it is the only one appropriate to use) when dealing with nominal data. The mean and/or median are usually preferred when dealing with all other types of data, but this does not mean it is never used with these data types.

The median is usually preferred to other measures of central tendency when your data set is skewed (i.e., forms a skewed distribution) or you are dealing with ordinal data. However, the mode can also be appropriate in these situations, but is not as commonly used as the median.

What is the most appropriate measure of central tendency when the data has outliers?

The median is usually preferred in these situations because the value of the mean can be distorted by the outliers. However, it will depend on how influential the outliers are. If they do not significantly distort the mean, using the mean as the measure of central tendency will usually be preferred.

If the data set is perfectly normal, the mean, median and mean are equal to each other (i.e., the same value).

Before you can begin to understand statistics, there are four terms you will need to fully understand. The first term 'average' is something we have been familiar with from a very early age when we start analyzing our marks on report cards. We add together all of our test results and then divide it by the sum of the total number of marks there are. We often call it the average. However, statistically it's the Mean!

The Mean Example: Four tests results: 15, 18, 22, 20 The sum is: 75 Divide 75 by 4: 18.75 The 'Mean' (Average) is 18.75 (Often rounded to 19) The Median The Median is the 'middle value' in your list. When the totals of the list are odd, the median is the middle entry in the list after sorting the list into increasing order. When the totals of the list are even, the median is equal to the sum of the two middle (after sorting the list into increasing order) numbers divided by two. Thus, remember to line up your values, the middle number is the median! Be sure to remember the odd and even rule. Examples: Find the Median of: 9, 3, 44, 17, 15 (Odd amount of numbers) Line up your numbers: 3, 9, 15, 17, 44 (smallest to largest) The Median is: 15 (The number in the middle) Find the Median of: 8, 3, 44, 17, 12, 6 (Even amount of numbers) Line up your numbers: 3, 6, 8, 12, 17, 44 Add the 2 middles numbers and divide by 2: 8 12 = 20 2 = 10 The Median is 10.

The Mode The mode in a list of numbers refers to the list of numbers that occur most frequently. A trick to remember this one is to remember that mode starts with the same first two letters that most does. Most frequently - Mode. You'll never forget that one! Examples: Find the mode of: 9, 3, 3, 44, 17 , 17, 44, 15, 15, 15, 27, 40, 8, Put the numbers is order for ease: 3, 3, 8, 9, 15, 15, 15, 17, 17, 27, 40, 44, 44, The Mode is 15 (15 occurs the most at 3 times) *It is important to note that there can be more than one mode and if no number occurs more than once in the set, then there is no mode for that set of numbers. Occasionally in Statistics you'll be asked for the 'range' in a set of numbers. The range is simply the the smallest number subtracted from the largest number in your set. Thus, if your set is 9, 3, 44, 15, 6 - The range would be 44-3=41. Your range is 41. A natural progression once the 3 terms in statistics are understood is the concept of probability. Probability is the chance of an event happening and is usually expressed as a fraction. But that's another topic!

What is statistics?

Statistics is the practice or science of collecting and analyzing numerical data in large quantities.

History

Statistical methods date back at least to the 5th century BC. The earliest known writing on statistics appears in a 9th-century book entitled Manuscript on Deciphering Cryptographic Messages, written by Al-Kindi. In this book, Al-Kindi provides a detailed description of how to use statistics and frequency analysis to decipher encrypted messages. This was the birth of both statistics and cryptanalysis, according to the Saudi engineer Ibrahim Al-Kadi. The Nuova Cronica, a 14th-century history of Florence by the Florentine banker and official Giovanni Villani, includes much statistical information on population, ordinances, commerce, education, and religious facilities, and has been described as the first introduction of statistics as a positive element in history. Some scholars pinpoint the origin of statistics to 1663, with the publication of Natural and Political Observations upon the Bills of Mortality by John Graunt. Early applications of statistical thinking revolved around the needs of states to base policy on demographic and economic data, hence its stat-etymology. The scope of the discipline of statistics broadened in the early 19th century to include the collection and analysis of data in general. Today, statistics is widely employed in government, business, and natural and social sciences. Its mathematical foundations were laid in the 17th century with the development of the probability theory by Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat. Probability theory arose from the study of games of chance. The method of least squares was first described by Carl Friedrich Gauss around 1794. The use of modern computers has expedited

large-scale statistical computation, and has also made possible new methods that are impractical to perform manually.

Thomas Bayes David R. Cox George E. P. Box Harald Cramr Pafnuty Chebyshev Francis Ysidro Edgeworth Bruno de Finetti Carl Friedrich Gauss Pierre-Simon Laplace Abraham De Moivre Blaise Pascal Adolphe Quetelet Charles Spearman John Tukey

Gertrude Cox Ronald A. Fisher William Sealey Gosset Erich L. Lehmann Jerzy Neyman Karl Pearson C. R. Rao Charles Stein Abraham Wald

Bradley Efron Francis Galton Andrey Kolmogorov Aleksandr Lyapunov Florence Nightingale Charles S. Peirce Walter A. Shewhart Thorvald N. Thiele

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