A number of methods can be used to determine if someone is overweight or obese, but a fast way to check if you or your child is on target is to figure out body mass index (BMI).
BMI for children (also referred to as BMI-for-age) is gender and age-specific from two to 20, because girls and boys differ in body fat content as they mature.
1. Determine your child's weight in kilograms. If you only know it in pounds, you can use the easy calculations below.
2. Determine your child's height in meters. If you only know it in inches, you can use the easy calculations below.
3. With your child's weight in kilograms and height in meters, you can plug those numbers into the BMI formula to get your child's body mass index.
Once you have figured out your child's index, you can refer to the BMI printable chart to find out what percentile your child is in:
Healthcare professionals use the following established percentile cutoff points to identify underweight and overweight ranges in children:
BMI decreases during the preschool years, then increases into adulthood. The percentile curves show this pattern of growth. If your child has a body-mass index (BMI) that places him above the 95th percentile based on his age, sex, weight, and height, he's at high risk for type 2 diabetes; if it is 85 percent or higher, ask your pediatrician whether your child should be tested for diabetes.