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Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index

A person’s body mass index (BMI) can be calculated to determine whether or not they maintain a healthy weight. It is measured in relation to height, and although not an exact indicator of obesity, it is a valued method when it comes to monitoring healthy weight levels. Because of the constant physical changes that occur during childhood, the BMI of adolescents is further divided by height and age in comparison to adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a BMI calculator to estimate a child’s BMI. According to the chart, children with a BMI between the 5th and 85th percentile are considered to be at a healthy weight, and those with a BMI between the 85th and 94th percentiles are usually considered to be overweight. Any child with a BMI at or above the sex-and-age specific 95th percentile are considered to be obese. It is important to know that in addition to calculating a child’s BMI, professional assessment is necessary in monitoring a child’s overall health.

Source: www.letsmove.gov/obesity

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