It’s a number that could mean a lot for your health, and your child’s health.
One of the best ways to predict if you or your child is at risk for weight-related health problems is knowing your body mass index, or BMI. While BMI alone can’t diagnose obesity, the number gives a reliable estimate for how much of your body is made up of fat. A BMI in the overweight or obese weight status can indicate a higher risk for health problems, including heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes and other chronic health conditions. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions about your BMI or your child’s BMI.
The CDC has easy-to-use calculators to figure out a BMI for you and your children. For adults, all you need to know before using the calculator is your weight and height. Figuring out weight status for children works a bit differently because the amount of body fat changes with age and also differs between girls and boys. To calculate BMI for children, you also need to know sex, birth date and the date of height and weight measurements.
Please talk to your health care provider to find out more about your or your child’s BMI and what actions your family can take for the best possible health.