Dr. Sears: What is your BMI?

B.M.I. Body Mass Index vs. Weight

BMI is used as a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for children and a more accurate method for predicting the risk of being overfat. Also, unlike a standard height and weight chart, the BMI method can predict health risks and screen for obesity, overweight, healthy weight, or underweight.

BMI charts reflect children’s weight relative to their height. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend the use of BMI  charts to screen for overweight and obesity in children beginning at 2 years old. You can calculate your child’s Body Mass Index with a simple calculation.  Simply click on one of the buttons below.

Child BMI Calculator Adult BMI Calculator

For example, a child may have a high BMI for age and sex, but to determine if excess fat is a problem, a health care provider would need to perform further assessments. These assessments might include skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family history, and other appropriate health screenings.

The Dangers of a Big Middle

New insights suggest that the excess folds of fat some of us accumulate around the waist may be of greater concern than what the scale or BMI charts reflect. This abdominal fat is called “visceral fat”, because what you can see around the waist is often the tip of the iceberg and is associated with a large amount of extra fat deposited beneath the surface of the abdomen. This fat is more metabolically active, which mean it is released more quickly into the bloodstream – a fact that accounts for the increased risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease among persons with excess abdominal fat.

The good news is that this fat is often the first the body sheds when you begin a consistent exercise program. This is why abdominal girth is one of the most meaningful measurements of progress on the LEAN Kids Program. I have noticed that after a few weeks, kids on the program often report “looser pants” or “looser skirts”, even without noticing a lower weight on the scale.

Source: http://www.drsearslean.com/resources/assessment-tools/

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