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How to find if a child is overweight

Updated on June 4, 2011

Parents often worry if their children are overweight, underweight or just right healthy weight. Using the body mass index calculator, you can find out if your child is at an appropriate weight. BMI or body mass index is a number calcualted from a child's weight and height. BMI also works for adults.

BMI was developed by Belgium statistician Adolphe Quelet(1796-1874). It was known as the Quetelet Index. BMI is an internationally used measure of obesity.

Overweight or obese?

Body mass index to determine if a child is obese
Body mass index to determine if a child is obese

 Body mass index is used to find out if a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. Body mass index is calculated using the BMI formula to find the height to weight ratio of an individual. BMI is then compared to weight status categories.

English BMI Formula:
BMI = ( Weight in Pounds / ( Height in inches ) x ( Height in inches ) ) x 703

Metric BMI Formula
BMI = ( Weight in Kilograms / ( Height in Meters ) x ( Height in Meters ) ) x 703

How to calculate BMI?

1. Weigh yourself on the scale and write it down

2. Measure your height using the measuring tape

3. Now divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches.

4. Divide that number again by your height in inches.

5. Multiply that number by 703.

BMI scale:

  • Underweight: BMI less than 18
  • Thin: BMI less than 18.5
  • Healthy: BMI between 18.6 and 24.9
  • Overweight: BMI between 25 - 29.9
  • Obese: BMI greater than 30

 Prevention of obesity:

1. Always try to consume lean meat varieties. Trim off visible fat.

2. Consume low fat milk or skim milk

3. Limit the consumption of processed and fat meat products such as sausages and burgers.

4. Limit fast food: Burger, pizza, fried chicken, hot dogs and fries

5. High fat snack foods: Also limit high fat snacks such as doughnuts, croissants, muffins, chips, cookies and chocolate bars.

Healthy snack ideas to reduce weight for children:

  • Whole grain bread toast and cereal
  • Fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas and pears.
  • Small amount of dried fruits such as raisins and apricots
  • Fresh vegetables served with low fat salad dressing, and veggie dip
  • Low fat yogurt with fruit
  • Graham crackers
  • Low fat vanilla wafers
  • Animal crackers
  • Egg
  • Fruit smoothies


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