How to identify overweight?

If a child's socalled puppy-fat is still normal or has already become harmful is often difficult to assess. Using the so called Body Mass Index (BMI) also the bodyweight of children can be assesed. Although different standards are used: For every age there is a BMI-group in which a child can be classified as underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.

The formula for calculating the BMI is:

weight in kg
--------------------------------- = BMI
height in m x height in m

Example: Max is 4 years old, weights 16 kg and is 104 cm tall.

16 kg
-------------------- = 14.8   >>  Max is normal weight because his BMI is below 16.7.
(1.04m x 1.04m)

table: BMI-threshhold for overweight and obesity

 

Boys

Girls

age

overweight

obese

overweight

obese

4

16.7 to 18.3

18.4 and above

16.9 to 19.0

19.1 and above

4.5

16.6 to 18.2

18.3 and above

17.1 to 19.3

19.4 and above

5

16.6 to 18.3

18.4 and above

17.1 to 19.4

19.5 and above

5.5

16.7 to 18.6

18.7 and above

17.3 to 19.8

19.9 and above

6

16.9 to 19.1

19.2 and above

17.5 to 20.3

20.4 and above

Source: Mayer M et al.: Weight and body mass index (BMI): current data for Austrian boys and girls aged 4 to under 19 years. Ann Hum Biol, Early Online: 1–11.