Nothing Changed But Her Age
I charted the hypothetical little girl at 3-years 8-months as standing 38″ tall and weighing 34.5-pounds – placing her in the 84th percentile for BMI for age, the top of the “normal healthy weight” classification. With no upward growth and no weight gain in two months, this same child would now be in the 85th percentile for BMI for age, making her “at risk for overweight” in some circles, or simply “overweight” in others.
Interestingly, if we calculate her traditional fall on the height and weight charts, her weight at 3-years 8-months places her in the 59th percentile for weight for age; at 3-years 10-months it’s dropped to the 52nd percentile for weight for age. Yet this child is now labeled as being among the statistics of overweight and/or obese children.
The dirty little secret about children’s BMI charts is they slope downward starting at age 2 until about age 6! Take a look:
How often do we read or hear how parents are totally blind to their child’s weight problems?
How many out there realize the difference between “normal healthy weight” of a three year old girl and ‘at risk for overweight” (or overweight) is just 0.5-pounds, to be classified “overweight” (or obese) it’s just one more pound if you use the BMI for age chart?
How many realize that within as short a period of time as a month, with no gain or loss and no upward growth a child can move from one category, normal healthy weight, up to overweight?
Yet this is the “gold standard” we parents are told is best to determine if our child is overweight or obese, in need of intervetion to prevent them from becoming an obese adult!
What do you think?
You can go play with the calculators available online:
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