BMI: Is Your Child At A Healthy Weight? Effective Tips For Weight Management

Maintaining a healthy weight in children is important for optimum health. BMI can help evaluate whether your child is at a healthy weight or not. Read here to understand BMI in children and ways to manage a healthy weight.

BMI: Is Your Child At A Healthy Weight? Effective Tips For Weight Management

Childhood obesity is linked with a higher risk of several diseases

Highlights

  • Unhealthy diet can promote unhealthy weight
  • Exercise regularly for better physical and mental health
  • Childhood obesity is a serious health issue

BMI helps you determine whether you are underweight, at a healthy weight or overweight. It helps you measure the amount of body fat you have. Body weight outside the normal range can be harmful to your health and can signify risk of diseases linked with unhealthy weight. Not just adults, kids need to maintain a healthy weight too. According to WHO, overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more likely to develop non-communicable diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age. Globally, in 2016 the number of overweight children under the age of five, is estimated to be over 41 million.

BMI can be used as a tool to find whether your child is at a healthy weight or not with respect to his/her height. Here are some details about how BMI is calculated in children and tips to maintain a healthy weight in children.

BMI in children

Calculating BMI in children is not similar to adults. You need to consult a paediatrician to know the exact BMI of your child as various factors may affect including height, gender, age, height and weight of other children of the same age and more.

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Healthy weight can help ward of risk of potential diseases
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BMI percentile which is used for children compares measurement of your child with others of the same gender and age. For example, if a child has a BMI in the 60th percentile then it means that 60% of the kids of the same gender and age who were measured had a lower BMI.

Also read: Tips to prevent childhood obesity

The following are the categories that are used-

Underweight- Below the 5th percentile

Healthy weight- 5th percentile to less than the 85th percentile

Overweight- 85th to less than the 95th percentile

Obesity- Equal to or greater than the 95th percentile

BMI is less accurate in childhood and puberty as kids at a growing stage.

Also read: Childhood Obesity Prevention: 5 Tips For Parents To Inculcate Healthy Eating Habits In Children

How to maintain a healthy weight in kids?

A healthy diet and enough physical activity help in maintaining a healthy weight. Regular exercise helps burn calories. It is one of the healthiest ways to lose weight. Plan physical activities with your child like a running or your child's favourite sport.

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Add a variety of nutrients to your child's diet for optimum growth
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Serve your child more seasonal fruits and vegetables to ensure optimum intake of nutrients. It can also help in healthy weight management.

Also read: Understanding BMI and how to calculate

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.