Lets discuss BMI for children, teens and adolescents. BMI for children is a very vast topic and requires a lot of attention.
Mostly for adults we can generalize BMI as normal if it is between 18 to 25.
For children it varies according to the age of the child and whether the child is entering puberty or not.
We can learn alot about the BMI of children just by looking at the above diagram.
As the child ages the BMI gradually decreases at first around 4 to 6 years. Then if suddenly starts to increase at 6 years of age and reaches its adult maximum by 18 – 20 years of age. In the graph above the green area is the normal range of BMI for different aged children. The yellow represents the overweight area. The red represents the obese category. Similarly the orange area represents the underweight category.
For children the major problem is being underweight as children will fail to achieve their adequate adult height and weight if they are underweight. The above graph is for boys but it paints a general picture of how growth occurs in children as they age.
So a boy with a BMI of 23 at age 10 is obese even though the BMI is in the average.
Similarly a boy with a BMI of 21 at age 10 is overweight.
A boy with a BMI of 13 at age 10 is underweight.
A boy with a BMI of 18 would be in the normal range.
So try to use the chart above when you measure your child’s BMI and don’t just use the average range that is quotes on so many other places. You can browse the site for more health articles that deal with child growth and nutrition here.
Learn More about BMI for children, teens and adolescents at CDC.
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