BMI for Children…
For children and teens, overweight is defined differently than it is for adults. Children are still growing, and boys and girls develop at different rates. So, BMI for children 2 to 20 years old is determined by using a BMI chart that compares their weight and height along with growth charts. The growth charts use a child’s BMI, age, and sex to produce a BMI percentile.
A child’s BMI percentile shows how his or her BMI compares with other boys or girls of the same age. A child or teen that is between the 85th and 95th percentile on the growth chart is considered at risk of overweight. A child or teen that is at the 95th percentile or above is considered overweight. For children, BMI is used to screen for overweight, healthy weight, or underweight. For example, a child may have a high BMI for age and gender, but to determine if excess fat is a problem, a health care provider would need to perform further assessments.
A BMI percentile will not tell you if your child has or will get a disease. However, you should ask your family doctor, pediatrician, or other health care provider about your child’s BMI percentile and whether they are at risk for disease.