Fast facts on BMI.
- Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on your weight in relation to your height.
- BMI is a simple, inexpensive and noninvasive surrogate measure of body fat.
- Because BMI does not measure body fat directly, it should not be used as a diagnostic tool.
- BMI should be used as a measure to track weight status in populations and as a screening tool to identify potential weight problems in individuals.
Proactive measures for normal BMI
- Preventing further weight gain is important and weight reduction is desirable.
- Consistently consuming more energy (calories) than you burn will cause weight gain and burning more energy (calories) than you consume will cause weight reduction.
How Can I Keep My Child's BMI in a Healthy Weight Range?
In order to maintain a healthy weight, everyone -- kids included -- needs to balance the number of calories they take in with the energy they use every day. For kids to do this they need to learn to eat healthy foods and get at least 60 minutes of exercise a day.
Having a healthy weight can make it easier for your child to be active. Getting regular exercise can also help your child:
- Improve confidence and self esteem
- Build social skills
- Reduce stress
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Have a lower risk of illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease
Encourage children and teens to practice healthy weight habits by:
- Eating healthy foods and beverages including water
- Participating in physical activity on most (preferably all) days of the week
- Getting adequate sleep
- Limiting television viewing
Helping your child build healthy eating and activity habits has a big payoff. If your child's weight stays in a healthy weight range through childhood and into adulthood, they will be less likely to develop weight-related health problems such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Many cancers