U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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HEALTHY WEIGHT FOR LIFE

What Is a Healthy Weight?

BMI for Children and Teens

For children and teens, overweight is defined differently than it is for adults. BMIs for youth 2–20 years old are determined by comparing their weight and height against growth charts that take their age and gender into account, because children are still growing, and boys and girls develop at different rates. A child’s “BMI-for-age,” as it is called, shows how his or her BMI compares with other girls or boys of the same age. A child or teen between the 85th and 95th percentile on the growth chart is considered overweight. A child or teen at the 95th percentile or above is considered obese. Find out your child’s BMI by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s BMI Percentile Calculator for Child and Teen. Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov

If your child is overweight or obese, visit the promoting a healthy weight across the lifespan page for some helpful ideas.

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