Your Doctor Should Measure Your Kid's Body Mass Index

Topics: Child Obesity

Doctors already measure height and weight. But calculating the Body Mass Index (a proportion of your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters, squared) gives your doctor a better idea of whether your kid is just a big girl, overweight, obese or may even need gastric bypass surgery.

95th percentile for age is obese; 85th-95th percentile means at risk for overweight and obesity, and should be treated–the risk for diabetes, heart disease and horrible teasing by other kids is real. 15% of kids between ages 6 and 19 are obese, and this fact is getting wide popular coverage, and personalized medical attention in private programs.

Body mass index is easy to calculate: you can do it here.. The American Academy of Pediatrics asks all pediatricians and family physicians to do just this. New policy was published in the peer-reviewed Journal Pediatrics. Read the whole policy here.

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