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Health Information For Parents
Body mass index (BMI) is a calculation that uses height and weight to estimate how much body fat someone has. You can use the KidsHealth BMI calculator below to find your child’s BMI. But it’s also important to talk to your child’s doctor to help understand the results.
Starting when your child is 2 years old, the doctor will determine BMI at all routine checkups. Because BMI changes with age, doctors plot children’s BMI measurements on standard gender-specific growth charts. Over several visits, the doctor is able to track your child’s growth pattern.
Although not a perfect measure of body fat, BMI helps identify children who are gaining weight too slowly or too quickly.
BMI percentiles show how a child’s measurements compare with others the same gender and age. For example, if a child has a BMI in the 60th percentile, 60% of the kids of the same gender and age who were measured had a lower BMI.
BMI is not a direct measure of body fat. Kids can have a high BMI if they have a large frame or a lot of muscle, not excess fat. And a kid with a small frame may have a normal BMI but still can have too much body fat.
BMI is less accurate during puberty. It’s common for kids to gain weight quickly — and see their BMI go up — during puberty. Your doctor can help you figure out whether this weight gain is a normal part of development or whether it’s something to be concerned about.
The categories that describe a person’s weight are:
It’s important to look at the BMI as a trend instead of focusing on individual numbers. Any one measurement, taken out of context, can give you the wrong impression of your child’s growth.
While BMI is an important indicator of healthy growth and development, BMI is not a perfect measure of body fat. If you’re concerned that your child may be gaining or losing weight too fast, talk to your doctor.
“What’s the right weight for my child?” is one of the most common questions parents have. It seems like a simple one, but it’s not always easy to answer.
Doctors use growth charts to figure out whether kids’ height and weight measurements are “normal” and whether they’re developing on track. Here are some facts about growth charts.
Preventing kids from becoming overweight means making choices in the way your family eats and exercises, and how you spend time together.
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From the moment parents greet their newborn, they watch the baby’s progress eagerly. But how can they tell if their child is growing properly?
A couple of pounds of extra body fat are not a health risk for most people. But when people are severely overweight, it can cause health problems.
The other kids in the class have been getting taller and developing into young adults, but your child’s growth seems to be lagging behind. Could a growth disorder be the cause?
If a person is struggling with extra weight, it can add to the emotional ups and downs of being a teen. Get some tips on coping here.
Being overweight has become a serious problem for many kids and adults. Find out what it means to be overweight in this article just for kids.
A lot of people talk about fit kids, but how do you become one? Here are five rules to live by, if you want to eat right, be active, and keep a healthy weight.
One of the biggest questions guys and girls have is whether they’re the right weight. Because the body is growing and changing so much during adolescence, it can be tough to answer this question.
One of the biggest questions guys and girls have as they grow and develop is whether they’re the right weight. One place to start is by learning about body mass index, or BMI.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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