Doctors have long relied on growth charts to determine whether children are developing appropriately, but some now turn to the Body Mass Index, or BMI, which uses height and weight to approximate the level of body fat a person has. BMI is used as a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for children. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend the use of BMI to screen for overweight and obesity in children beginning at two years old.
To calculate your child's BMI, visit your doctor or use an online BMI Calculator. The result will tell you whether your child has an appropriate level of body fat based on his height, age, and weight. A score ranging from the fifth percentile up to the 84th percentile is considered a healthy weight. If your child's BMI is over the 85th percentile, schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss the results and determine what other factors should be considered.
For children and teens, a high Body Mass Index can lead to weight-related diseases, while being underweight can also put a child at risk of health issues.Unlike adults, in children and teens BMI is age- and gender-specific. After the BMI is calculated, it is expressed in relation to a percentile a child fits into according to their age group and gender. Find out if your child is in a healthy BMI range using the calculator. Feel free to contact Morgan McGhee to discuss issues concerning your child's weight.