FYI, your BMI is PDI.
Huh? Would you like a translation? Here it is: For your information (FYI), your body mass index (BMI) is pretty darn important (PDI).
Did you know you had a BMI? Body mass index is a calculation that uses your height and weight to estimate how much body fat you have. Too much body fat is a problem because it can lead to illnesses and other health problems.
BMI, although not a perfect method for judging someone's weight, is often a good way to check on how a kid is growing.
The best way to determine your BMI is to have your doctor do it for you. That way, you'll know the number is accurate and your doctor can discuss the result with you and your mom or dad.
Once you know your BMI, you'll learn that you are in one of four categories:
A kid whose BMI is at the 50th percentile is close to average compared with the kids of the same age and gender who were measured to make the chart. A kid at the 85th to 94th percentiles is considered overweight. And a kid who measures at or above the 95th percentile is considered obese, a term doctors use that means very overweight.
It's important to remember that BMI is interpreted differently for adults. There are separate charts for men and women, but they don't use percentiles at all — just number ranges that are considered underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese (which means very overweight). That's because adults have stopped growing and their age is no longer a major consideration when it comes to weight.
Kids, on the other hand, are growing. And it's common for kids to gain weight during certain times in childhood, such as puberty. The charts take growth into account.
The following example shows that in action: Here's a look at a boy as he grows yet stays in the 50th percentile for BMI, which means he's average. Notice that his BMI goes up and down, but he continues to stay at the same percentile.
BMI is not the whole story when it comes to someone's weight. A more muscular kid might have a higher weight and BMI but not have too much body fat. A smaller kid could have an ideal BMI, but might have less muscle and too much body fat.
Also, it's very common for kids to gain weight quickly — and see the BMI go up — during puberty. Because of these and other considerations, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor if you have questions about whether you are at your ideal weight.
If your doctor tells you your BMI is high, don't let it get you down. Instead, talk to your doctor about what you should do to lower your BMI. Unlike adults, kids don't usually need to diet. But by eating healthier and getting more exercise, a kid can improve his or her BMI.
Controlling a weight problem while you're still a kid can help you avoid becoming an overweight adult and developing health problems like diabetes and heart disease. With a little effort, your BMI will be JWIOTB — just where it ought to be!
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: September 2013
|MyPlate Kids' Page This portion of the ChooseMyPlate.gov site offers a Blast Off game for kids, coloring pages, and posters.|
|BAM! Body and Mind This CDC website is designed for 9- to 13-year-olds and addresses health, nutrition, fitness, and stress. It also offers games for kids.|
|Why Exercise Is Cool Exercise can help keep a kid's body fit and healthy. Learn more about what exercise can do for you in this article for kids.|
|How Can I Feel Better About My Body? It's normal to wish you could change something about your body. Find out more about these feelings in this article for kids.|
|Kids and Eating Disorders Eating too little or deliberately throwing up after eating are two serious kinds of eating disorders. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|What Kids Say About: Weight We wanted to know what kids have to say about weight problems, so we asked more than 1,000 boys and girls. Find out what they said.|
|What's the Right Weight for Me? TV shows, movies, and magazines show pictures of people who are thin. Does that mean being thin is best? Not necessarily. Find out more by reading this article for kids.|
|Is Dieting OK for Kids? What is dieting and should kids do it, too? Find out in this article for kids.|
|What Being Overweight Means Being overweight has become a serious problem for many kids and adults. Find out what it means to be overweight in this article just for kids.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.