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The standard used to determine whether a child is overweight is body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of how much a person weighs in relation to his or her height. Doctors begin to measure this at the age of 2. If a child’s BMI is greater than 85% of other children his or her age and gender, he or she is considered overweight (obese if greater than 95%). Overweight and obese children are much more likely to have joint problems, breathing problems and poor self-esteem. They are also much more likely to become obese adults with a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes. Providing healthy food options and encouraging outdoor activities are excellent ways to prevent and control weight problems in children and are crucial during this time as they develop lifelong habits. Start by restricting TV time and sweetened drinks and facilitating involvement in sports. Your child will be healthier and happier for it.
A child is considered overweight if he or she has a body mass index (BMI) in the 86th to 94th percentile on a growth chart. BMI, which measures weight in relation to height, is used to identify a possible weight problem for a child.In some cases, a child may be overweight because he or she has a large amount of body fat (adipose tissue). But not all children with BMIs in the 86th to 94th percentile have too much body fat. For instance: A child who has grown consistently at a higher percentile for most of his or her life may just be bigger than other children of the same age due to genetics. Before and during puberty, it is normal for children to have a significant gain in weight before beginning to grow in height. This can temporarily increase a child's BMI. Children who are very muscular (for instance, children who are very active in sports) may have a higher BMI but have normal or even low amounts of body fat.
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