Kids who are overweight are more possible to grow diabetes or heart sickness in later life and are more expected being obese as adults. But healthiness is not the only issue. Overweight kids could also be affected by teasing or bullying, low self-esteem, embarrassment when playing games or sports and difficulty in being active.
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Even if your kid is not overweight or obese, it is important that they consume healthily and are physically active. The tips outlined on this article are relevant to all kids, in all weight ranges.
As children are still growing, and as boys and girls grow in a different way, a kid's sex and age must be taken into account while working out if they are in a healthy weight range. Therefore adult height and weight categories cannot be used for kids.
To get ideal weight for a kid can be complicated sometimes. Adults use the Body Mass Index (BMI) to measure their ideal weight. But for kids, this is not the case. Their ideal weight is calculated on length for age and weight for age percentile charts.
Those children weighing over the 95th percentile range are considered overweight. And for those above the 85th percentile range, they are considered at risk of being overweight.
Although you can calculate a kid's BMI using an online BMI calculator or look it up on a BMI chart, you could also calculate it yourself with the BMI formula.
This is not always practical though, especially you have to calculate the BMI of a lot of kids, like in a nurse's office at school or for a busy Pediatrician.
If you are using pounds and inches for a kid's weight and height, the formula to calculate BMI is:
BMI = [weight / (height x height)] x 703
If you are using the metric system, the formula to calculate BMI is a little different. In this BMI formula, you use kilograms and meters for a child's weight and height:
BMI = [weight / (height x height)]
For adults, once you calculate BMI, it is quite easy to interpret your results, as a BMI in between 25 to 30 is considered overweight and a BMI of 30 and above is considered obese.
Interpreting BMI is a bit more complicated for kids though, because you also have to take into account the child's age to figure out the percentile ranking for that BMI from a Girl's BMI Chart or a Boy's BMI Chart. This BMI percentile can then help you determine if a child is overweight or at a healthy weight.
Learn more about this author, Wan Norizan Abdul Hamid.