Is My Child Overweight? How To Tell?

With adults it is a simple matter of being able to tell whether one is overweight or not. You calculate things such as BMI (body mass index) based on your height and weight and the correlation between the two.

Or you calculate your body fat based on your waist hip ratio. These are of course not fool proof methods as in many cases could yield inaccurate results yet they do offer valuable perspective.

With kids it is not as simple to determine a child being overweight based on the standard BMI, because there is the additional factor of age to be included in the equation. This is the link to a BMI calculator that requires you to fill in your child’s height, weight, age, whether they are male or female and based on that it offers information about your child’s BMI.

It also tells you whether your child is in the higher percentile of the index, which will determine whether he or she has the tendency to become overweight.

Also with it is a case of beauty being in the eyes of the beholder. Parents may well think that their child is perfect just as they are; and perfectly normal in weight as well.

It may also be that a parent with a chubby child simply puts it down to ‘puppy fat’ which the parent dismisses as being normal and which will be lost in due course. There is also the fact that children are differently shaped than adults, with different body proportions.

The best thing to do, in order to determine whether or not your child is within the boundaries of healthy weight is to get a proper medical evaluation to determine the ideal weight that a child of a given age and height ought to be.

The reasons to have a proper evaluation are many: one for reasons of health and fitness, your child should be in the proper weight. This will have repercussions into his or her adult life as well.

Also keep in mind that an overweight child is inevitably the butt of cruel jokes and perhaps even bullying which is the last thing you would want for your child.

And if you find, by using the BMI calculator and/or by consulting with a doctor that your child is in fact overweight, then ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you and your child have the right lifestyle in terms of food choices and the level of activity in the home?
  • Are you perhaps guilty of the clean plate policy in the home which may be contributing to your child’s condition?

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