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A Brief on BMI
A Brief on BMI

The health and wellness of our children is a national priority. In Hopewell, we address our children’s health and wellness needs with a comprehensive approach that includes health screenings, physical activity programs, nutrition, and education. In compliance with Pennsylvania’s Growth Screening Program, a BMI result will be sent home each year. It includes your child’s height, weight, and BMI-for-Age percentile.

  • It is a screening tool and not a definitive measure.
  • It is a weight for height index.
  • Assists in determining if a student is within a normal growth pattern, overweight, or underweight.
  • Changes dramatically during childhood and adolescence.
  • Can produce some false positives or negatives.
  • It is important to follow up with your doctor if your child’s BMI is high or low.  

 

BMI-for-Age Percentile

The BMI-for-Age percentile is used as a screening tool to identify possible health risks such a diabetes, heart diseases, and asthma. The BMI-for-Age percentile assesses the size and growth patterns of individual children and teens compared to other kids their age. The BMI percentile has four categories:   

 
Weight Status Category
 
                              
Percentile Range
Underweight
 
Less than 5%
Healthy weight
 
5% - 85%
Overweight
 
85% - 95%
Obese
 
95% and greater


Actions to Take

If your child’s BMI result is outside of the healthy weight percentile,underweight, overweight, or obese, you should take the following actions:

  • Schedule a checkup appointment with your doctor for your child.
  • Take your child’s BMI result with you to the appointment.
  • Ask your doctor to explain the results and make recommendations for your child's health.

Interventions

The Pennsylvania Advocates for Nutrition and Activity (PANA) recommend following five healthy behaviors daily, to assist your child in maintaining a healthy weight. They are:

1.    One or more hours of physical activity

2.    Two or less hours of screen time (television and computer)

3.    Three balanced meals

4.    Four or more cups of water or low/no-calorie beverages

5.    Five or more servings of fruits and vegetables


Resources

If your child is not within the healthy weight category, please feel to contact
your doctor and school nurse who can assist you with interventions at home and
school.

*More information about this topic can be found at PA Department of Health -All The Buzz About BMI




 

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