In children, a high amount of body fat can lead to weight-related diseases and other health issues and being underweight can also put one at risk for health issues.
A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. BMI does not measure body fat directly, but research has shown that BMI is correlated with more direct measures of body fat, such as skinfold thickness measurements, bioelectrical impedance, densitometry underwater weighingdual energy x-ray absorptiometry DXA and other methods 1,2,3.
BMI can be considered an alternative to direct measures of body fat. In general, BMI is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight categories that may lead to health problems. After BMI is calculated for children and teens, it is expressed as a percentile which can be obtained from either a graph or a percentile calculator see links below. The BMI-for-age percentile growth charts are the most commonly Girls sex teen five indicator to measure the size and growth patterns of children and teens in the United States.
BMI-for-age weight status categories and the corresponding percentiles were based on expert committee recommendations and are shown in the following table. The following is an example of how sample BMI numbers would be interpreted for a year-old boy.
For children and teens, BMI is not a diagnostic tool and is used to screen for potential weight and health-related issues. For example, a child may have a high BMI for their age and sex, but to determine if excess fat is a problem, a health care provider would need to perform further assessments. These assessments might include skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family Girls sex teen five, and other appropriate health screenings. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of BMI to screen for overweight and obesity in children beginning at 2 years old.
For children under the age of 2 years old, consult the WHO standards. Because there are changes in weight and height with age, as well as their relation to body fatness, BMI levels among children and teens need to be expressed relative to other children of the same sex and age. These percentiles are calculated from the CDC growth charts, which were Girls sex teen five on national survey data collected from to 4.
Obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex. For example, a year-old boy of average height 56 inches who weighs pounds would have a BMI of This would place the boy in the 95 th percentile for BMI, and he would be considered to have obesity.
For adults, BMI is interpreted as weight status categories that are not dependent on sex or age. It is difficult to provide healthy weight ranges for children and teens because the interpretation of BMI depends on weight, height, age, and sex. The prevalence of children and teens who measure in the 95 th percentile or greater Girls sex teen five the CDC growth charts has greatly increased over the past 40 years.
Recently, however, this trend has leveled off and has even declined in certain age groups. To learn more about child and teen obesity trends, visit Childhood Obesity Facts.
To determine whether the child has excess fat, further assessment by a trained health professional would be needed.
For information about the consequences of childhood obesity, its contributing factors and more, see Tips for Parents — Ideas and Tips to Help Prevent Childhood Obesity. The interpretation of BMI varies by age and sex.
So if the children are not the same age and the same sex, the interpretation of BMI has different meanings. For children of different age and sex, the same BMI could represent different BMI percentiles and possibly different weight status categories.
See the following graphic for an example for a year-old boy and a year-old boy who both have a BMI-for-age of Note that two children of different ages are plotted on the same growth chart to illustrate a point.
Normally the measurement for only one child is plotted on a growth chart. A comparison of the Slaughter skinfold-thickness equations and BMI in predicting body fatness and cardiovascular disease risk factor levels in children.
Body fat throughout childhood in healthy Danish children: Prevalence and trends in overweight among US children and adolescents, Cardiovascular risk factors and excess adiposity among overweight children and adolescents: Screening and interventions for childhood overweight: May 15 ; Nutrition and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in children.
Jun ; 10 3: Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. Orthopedic complications of overweight in children and adolescents.
Journal of affective disorders Obesity and psychiatric disorder: Associations between obesity and comorbid mental health, developmental, and physical health conditions in a nationally representative sample of US children aged 10 to Health-related quality of life of severely obese children and adolescents. The impact of obesity on quality of life. Incidence of childhood obesity in the United States.
New England Journal of Medicine ; Age-related consequences of childhood obesity.
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How is BMI calculated for children and teens? What is a BMI percentile and how is it interpreted? How is BMI used with children and teens? Is BMI interpreted the same way for children and teens as it is for adults? How can I tell if my child is overweight or obese?
Can I determine if my child or teen is obese by using an adult BMI calculator? My two children have the same BMI values, but one is considered obese and the other is not. What are the health consequences of obesity during childhood?
References 1 Garrow, J. Get Email Updates To receive email updates about this page, enter your email address: July 3, Page last updated: October 24, Content source: Many adults are uncomfortable with the idea of teen sexuality, and prefer to remain in have had sexual intercourse; almost nine million teens have already had sex.