FACT: Today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese.*
What is childhood obesity?
Childhood obesity is a health condition where the child's weight is too high for their height. Weight gain can happen when a person eats more calories than their body can use and the excess is stored as fat. Weight gain occurs easier when a child has an unhealthy diet and is not physically active, but there can be other factors that contribute to childhood weight gain. Left untreated, childhood obesity can lead to serious medical problems in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
Is my child overweight or obese?
Your physician will measure the child’s weight and height and calculate their body mass index, or BMI. This number is compared to the BMIs for children of the same age. The physician will also consider the size of the child’s body frame, their growth patterns, and how muscular they are.
- healthy weight: 5th to 84th percentile
- overweight: 85th to 94th percentile
- obese: 95th percentile or greater**
**If the child’s BMI is greater than 95%, this means the child’s weight is higher than 95% of all children. They can then be diagnosed as obese.
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