Body Mass Index (BMI) for children is based on age, gender, height, and weight. Your child's BMI will be provided on his/her fitness gram report. The NYC Fitness gram provided the following table as a guide for you to determine your child's weight status.
Weight Status Category Percentile Range
Under weight: Less than the 5th percentile
Healthy weight: 5th percentile to less than the 85th percentile
Over weight: 85th to less than the 95th percentile
Obese: Equal to or greater than the 95th percentile
BMI is used as a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for children. CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend the use of BMI to screen for overweight and obesity in children beginning at 2 years old. (Note: Actual weight ranges are not provided because children are constantly growing and changing. Therefore, a child's BMI is the tool of choice to determine a healthy weight zone).
For children, BMI is used to screen for obesity, overweight, healthy weight, or underweight. However, BMI is not a diagnostic tool. For example, a child may have a high BMI for his/her 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 skin fold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family history, and other appropriate health screenings.