Introduction: For the identification and treatment of overweight and obesity is important the measurements of overall adiposity and abdominal obesity.Objective: Determining the percentile distribution of arm, waist and hip circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio, as well as obesity cut-off points in adolescents aged 10 to 15 years old.Methods: A total of 43 (32 public and 11 private) schools picked at random in the different areas of the city of Sao Paulo, participated in this study. The distributions of the circumferences were charted as 5 to 95 percentiles. The analyses of Receiver Operator Characteristic Curve was carried out in order to determine the values indicating adiposity.Results: A total of 8,020 adolescents (54.5% females and 45.5% males) were examined. The percentiles were charted for age and gender yielding the following measurements associated with adiposity in female and male subjects, respectively: arm circumferences 27,07 and 26,97 cm, waist circumference 74,28 and 77,5 cm, hip circumference 94,79 and 91,7 cm, waist-to-hip ratio 0,80 and 0,86. The arm, waist and hip circumference were found to be parameters of better sensibility and specificity regarding, adiposity when compared with waist-to-hip ratio.Conclusion: The present study evidences the importance of establishing national anthropometrical parameters in order to avoid biased assessment of nutritional status in adolescents aged 10 to 15 years old.