Being either overweight or underweight can put a person at risk for certain health problems. A student who is overweight has an increased risk of developing serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and certain cancers. A student who is underweight has an increased risk for heart problems, loss of bone mass, and anemia. Being underweight may also be a sign of an underlying eating disorder.
Many factors, including sports participation or family history, can influence height and weight in children and adolescents. BMI should be considered a screening tool and not a definitive measure of overweight and obesity as the indicator does have limitations. For examples, some athletes and serious dancers may have a higher than expected BMI due to their increased muscle mass, which weighs more than fat mass.
Your child’s health care provider is the best person to evaluate whether or not his/her measurements are within a healthy range. Keeping in mind that this is only a health screening, please share this results with you child’s health care provider, who may suggest changes in eating or physical activity or may have other suggestions.
The table below can help you understand better where your child’s BMI % falls:
Underweight: BMI 0% - 4.99%
At Risk for Underweight: BMI 5% - 14.99 %
Probably at a Healthy Weight: BMI 15 % - 85.99 %
At Risk for Overweight: BMI 86 % - 94.99 %.
Overweight: BMI 95 % - 100 %