A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness.BMI does not measure body fat directly, but research has shown that BMI is correlated with more direct measures of body fat, such as skinfold thickness measurements, bioelectrical impedance, densitometry (underwater weighing), dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and other methods.
In general, BMI is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight categories that may lead to health problems.
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Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters.
After BMI is calculated for children and teens, it is expressed as a percentile which can be obtained from either a graph or a percentile calculator (see links below).
These percentiles express a child’s BMI relative to children in the U. who participated in national surveys that were conducted from 1963-65 to 1988-94.
For children and teens, BMI is age- and sex-specific and is often referred to as BMI-for-age.
In children, a high amount of body fat can lead to weight-related diseases and other health issues and being underweight can also put one at risk for health issues.
BMI-for-age weight status categories and the corresponding percentiles were based on expert committee recommendations and are shown in the following table.
For children and teens, BMI is not a diagnostic tool and is used to screen for potential weight and health-related issues.
Because weight and height change during growth and development, as does their relation to body fatness, a child’s BMI must be interpreted relative to other children of the same sex and age.
BMI-for-age – Boys Growth Chart [PDF-63 KB] BMI-for-age – Girls Growth Chart [PDF-49 KB] BMI calculator for children and teens The BMI-for-age percentile growth charts are the most commonly used indicator to measure the size and growth patterns of children and teens in the United States.