Children's Health and Wellness

BMI Calculator for Children and Teens

Body mass index (BMI) is one way to estimate a person's body fat that takes into consideration the person's height. BMI is calculated using a person's weight and height. In children and teens, BMI is used to find out if a child or teen is underweight, of a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. A child's body fat changes with age. Also, girls and boys differ in their amount of body fat as they mature. This is why BMI for children, also known as BMI-for-age, includes gender and age.

This calculator gives an approximate BMI for children from ages 5 to 18. It will tell you if a child is underweight, at an ideal weight, at risk of being overweight, or is now overweight.

Enter Child's Information

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Your Results

The information you provided gives a BMI of

This puts your child percentile, which indicates your child is underweight. An ideal BMI for your child's gender and age is between and .

Your child may be naturally thin. Or, it's possible a medical problem could be causing your child to be underweight. Talk to your child's health care provider.

This puts your child percentile, which indicates your child is at an ideal weight. An ideal BMI for your child's gender and age is between and .

Having an ideal weight means the calories your child is getting from food are balanced out with his/her level of physical activity. Keep in mind, though, that some calories are nutritious and others aren't. Your child may eat the right amount of food for a healthy weight, but still not get all the nutrients needed for good overall health. That's why it's still important to encourage your child to eat nutritious foods and get plenty of exercise. Good habits learned now will last a lifetime.

This puts your child percentile, which indicates your child is overweight. An ideal BMI for your child's gender and age is between and .

Overweight is a point at which your child's weight is no longer healthy. This is serious. Although your child isn't yet overweight, work with your health care provider—and your child—to prevent this from becoming a future problem. An overweight child may develop problems with self-esteem. And doctors have found that overweight children are developing serious health problems such as diabetes early in life that do not develop in children of normal weight.

Overweight children tend to become overweight adults. Being overweight as an adult increases the risk of serious diseases such as stroke, heart attack, diabetes, arthritis, and some forms of cancer. So now is the time to teach your child healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

This puts your child percentile, which indicates your child is obese. An ideal BMI for your child's gender and age is between and .

Overweight is a point at which your child's weight is no longer healthy. An overweight child may develop problems with self-esteem. And doctors have found that overweight children are developing health problems such as diabetes early in life that do not develop in children of normal weight.

Overweight children tend to become overweight adults. Being overweight as an adult increases the risk of serious diseases such as stroke, heart attack, diabetes, arthritis, and some forms of cancer. Now is the time to work with your healthcare provider—and your child—to develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional health care. Always consult a health care provider for advice concerning your health. Only your health care provider can advise you about your child's health.

This calculator is not intended to replace the evaluation of a health care professional.

Print Source: Body mass index as a measure of adiposity among children and adolescents. Pietrobelli A. Journal of Pediatrics. 1998;132(2):204-10.
Print Source: Percentiles for body mass index in U. S. children 5 to 17 years of age. Rosner B. Journal of Pediatrics. 1198;132(2):211-22.
Online Source: CDChttp://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/dnpabmi/
Online Source: CDChttp://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/
Online Source: CDChttp://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/childrens_bmi/about_childrens_bmi.html
Author: Lambert, J.G. M.D.
Online Editor: Sinovic, Dianna
Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Laurie, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Turley, Ray, BSN, MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 3/24/2014
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