Is your child overweight, underweight?

Is your child overweight, underweight?

Is your child overweight? Underweight?

A study in the July 2000 issue of Pediatrics shows us that, at least when it comes to teens, both parents and children are surprisingly poor at judging appropriate weight. Forty-seven percent of teens who reported that they were very overweight were not obese at all, according to objective body mass index (BMI) calculations. But among teens who were objectively obese, most parents and most children themselves did not recognize it!

The CDC growth charts are an excellent mirror that can help us see accurately how our children are growing. The BMI curve, in particular, can give us an early warning even before a child is truly overweight or underweight. Sometimes we need to take a more objective look at our kids.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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