BMI and its importance in children

With many tools available in the field of fitness, measuring your child’s growth and development more efficiently is our aim at FitterFly. Fitness assessments include parameters like height, weight, growth charts, mid upper arm circumference and most importantly BMI (Body Mass Index) that help assess gradual growth of every child.

Know more about BMI
Body Mass Index (BMI) is an anthropometric index with a unit of (kg/m2) that is the measure of weight in kilograms adjusted for height in meter square. Being a simple, noninvasive and inexpensive method, it is considered as a surrogate measure of direct body measurements including body fat. High values of BMI indicate morbidity and risk to obesity in both children and adults.

Interpretation of BMI in children and adolescents
BMI is measured differently for both adults and children making it essential to compare your child’s BMI with the correct age and gender specific standards available. BMI for children and adolescents between 2 to 20 years is age and gender specific considering the increasing fat stores in the body. BMI for-age categories with their respective percentiles are based on the World Health Organization Recommendations mentioned as follows:

Weight status Percentile Ranking
Underweight Less than 5th percentile
Healthy weight 5th percentile to less than 85th percentile
Overweight 85th percentile to less than 95th percentile
Obese Equal to or greater than the 95th percentile

Advantages of calculating BMI in Children
BMI is not a diagnostic tool but is accurately used to screen underweight or overweight children.
Being age and gender specific, it provides a reference also for adolescents not previously available.
It compares weight with stature measurements and body fat.
It is an indirect measure of body fat and associated health risks like development of heart diseases or hypertension during adult years.