About BMI Measurements
Body mass index (BMI) uses height and weight measurements to estimate how much body fat a person has. Use the BMI calculator below to measure your child’s BMI. Plotted on a standard BMI chart, your child’s measurement will fall into one of four categories:
Underweight: BMI below the 5th percentile
Normal weight: BMI at the 5th percentile and less than the 85th percentile
Overweight: BMI at the 85th percentile and below the 95th percentile
Obese: BMI at or above the 95th percentile
BMI is not a perfect measure of body fat and can be misleading in some situations. For example, a muscular person or athlete may have a high BMI without being overweight (because extra muscle adds to a body weight - but not fat). In addition, BMI may be difficult to interpret during puberty when kids are experiencing periods of rapid growth. It is not uncommon for kids to put on weight prior to a growth spurt. Keep in mind that BMI is usually a good, general indicator - but is not a perfect or direct measurement - of body fat.
If you are concerned about your child’s weight, make an appointment with your pediatrician to assess weight status and discuss the normal growth patterns of children and teens.
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