Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI) puts weight and height together into one number. This number is a better measure than weight because it takes height into consideration. In children, because they are growing, we use “percentile” (%ile) which compares their BMI to what is healthy for other children their age and gender.

  Children Adults
Overweight (yellow zone) 85th%ile to 95th%ile 25-30 kg/m2
Obese (red zone) 95th%ile or higher 30 kg/m2 or higher

To find out your child’s BMI, ask his or her doctor. Or you can check your child’s BMI by using the "Kids BMI Calculator".  

Note: physicians and healthcare providers use the term “obese” as a medical term that means too much body fat. Many children in the obese or red zone will look only a little overweight, but the extra body fat puts them at risk for health problems.