Dieting For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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Body Mass Index (BMI) is the standard used to measure a child’s weight-related health risk. However, you must use charts specifically designed for children.

Children’s BMI charts, unlike those for adults, are based on age and gender. Ask the staff at the pediatrician’s office to show you your child’s charts. Or you can use the formulas and charts that follow to do the calculations yourself.

Convert your child’s weight from pounds to kilograms.

Weight (in pounds) ÷ 2.2 = weight (in kilograms).

For example, 75 pounds ÷ 2.2 kilograms = 34 kilograms.

Convert your child’s height from inches to meters.

Height (in inches) ÷3 9.37 = height (in meters). For example, 48 inches ÷ 39.37 meters = 1.22 meters.

Calculate your daughter’s Body Mass Index using the chart below.

Calculate your daughter’s Body Mass Index using the chart below.

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Calculate your son’s Body Mass Index using the chart below.

Calculate your son’s Body Mass Index using the chart below.

As a general rule, a child whose BMI is over the 85th percentile for age and sex, needs to be evaluated for hypertension and high blood fats, because his weight is dangerously unhealthy. If the child’s BMI is over the 95th percentile for age and sex, a thorough medical assessment is needed.

Many of the health concerns that are equated with midlife are showing up in overweight children. So, it’s important to become your child’s advocate to ensure that her doctor is identifying and treating any health problems early on. For more information, check out www.cdc.gov and search for BMI.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Jane Kirby, RD is a registered dietitian and member of the American Dietetic Association. She is the food and nutrition editor of Real Simple magazine and owner of The Vermont Cooking School, IncTM in Charlotte, Vermont. Jane is the former editor of Eating Well magazine and the food and nuitrition editor for Glamour. She served on the dietetics staff of the Massachusettes General Hospital in Boston, where she  completed graduate work in nutrition. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Marymount College.

The American Dietetic Association is the world’s largest group of nutrition and health professionals. As an advocate of the profession, the ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health, and well-being.

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