Body mass index (BMI)
BMI is a useful screening tool to assess how heavy an individual is, relative to height. Since it?s possible for someone to have a high BMI due to extra muscle mass, without having excessive body fat or being at risk for obesity-related complications, BMI needs to be interpreted individually for each child
David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director, Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) program
Simply put, body mass index (BMI) is a calculation of a person’s weight in relation to her height. A child’s BMI percentile is found by calculating her BMI and plotting that number on a chart for her age and gender. Separate charts are used for boys and girls to account for their natural differences in body fat. A child’s resulting BMI percentile falls into to one of the following categories:
- healthy weight
At Boston Children’s Hospital, we offer a range of services that help children get to and stay at a healthy weight. After a medical and nutritional evaluation, our team of specialists can develop a plan appropriate for the optimal growth and development of your child.
BMI Reviewed by David Ludwig, MD, PhD
© Children’s Hospital Boston, 2012