Body Mass Index for Kids

Body Mass Index, or BMI, is the best way to figure out if your height and weight are in the right proportion. BMI is a formula that doctors use to calculate body fat based on your weight and height. After calculating your BMI, it’s plotted on a chart that tells you whether you’re underweight, average weight, or overweight.

Figuring out your BMI is kind of complicated, especially if you’re in your teens (because of puberty). If your weight is of interest or concern to either you or your parents, ask your doctor to help you calculate your BMI. Your doctor is able to do more than assess just your current weight. He or she can also look at your BMI over time and determine whether you are at risk of becoming overweight. Knowing the risks early allows you to make changes in your diet and exercise before body weight becomes a problem.

Also remember that while BMI is a good indicator of body fat, it doesn’t always tell the whole story. Someone can have a high BMI because she has a large frame or a lot of muscle (like a bodybuilder or athlete) instead of excess fat. Likewise, a small person with a small frame may have a normal BMI but could still have too much body fat. These are other good reasons to talk with your doctor about your BMI.

Read more about health, fitness and hygiene at:

The Boy's Body Guide: Health & Hygiene for Young Men 8 and Up

The Boy's Fitness Guide: Expert Coaching for Young Men

The Girl's Fitness Guide: Expert Coaching for Young Women