Your Health Is Your Wealth So Know Your BMI

“Hip-Hop 4 Better Health” Series (Volume 1; Article 3)

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By Charles Fisher and Randy Fisher @HHSYC

4 Categories to Assess Your Body Mass Index or BMI


Knowing your BMI places you in one of 4 categories:

HealthArticle2pic11.    Underweight: less than the 5th percentile

2.    Healthy weight: greater than or equal to 5th but less than 85th percentiles (in other words: 5th to 84th percentile)

3.    Overweight: greater than or equal to 85th but less than 95th percentiles (85th to 94th percentile)

4.    Obese: greater than or equal to the 95th percentile

A child whose BMI is at the 50th percentile is close to average compared with the kids of the same age and gender who were measured to make the chart.  A kid at the 85th to 94th percentiles is considered overweight. And a kid who measures at or above the 95th percentile is considered obese, a term doctors use that means very overweight.

A Changing BMI

The BMI is interpreted differently for adults than children.  There are separate charts for men and women, but they don’t use percentiles at all — just number ranges that are considered underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese (which means very overweight).  That’s because adults have stopped growing and their age is no longer a major consideration when it comes to weight.  Children, on the other hand, are constantly growing.  It’s common for kids to gain weight during certain times in childhood, such as puberty.  The charts take growth into account.

The following example shows that in action: Here’s a look at a boy as he grows yet stays in the 50th percentile for BMI, which means he’s average. Notice that his BMI goes up and down, but he continues to stay at the same percentile.

Age                BMI                   Percentile

2 years          16.5                       50th

4 years          15.8                       50th

8 years          16.0                       50th

12 years        17.5                       50th

HealthArticle2pic3Where BMI Can Fall Short

It’s not totally about the BMI when it comes to someone’s weight.  A more muscular child might have a higher weight and BMI but not have too much body fat.  A smaller kid could have an ideal BMI, but might have less muscle and too much body fat.

Also, it’s very common for kids to gain weight quickly — and see the BMI go up — during puberty.  Because of these and other considerations it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor if you have questions about whether you are at your ideal weight.

HealthArticle2pic4Don’t panic if your doctor tells you that your BMI is high.  Unlike adults, kids don’t usually need to diet.  By eating right and getting more exercise, anyone can improve their BMI.  Fasting is the key to longevity and good health; we will be doing a segment on the science.

You are better off attempting to address your weight problem while you are still young.  Once you become overweight or obese you run the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other health-related problems.  For personal consultation on how to naturally lose weight contact us at:

Links to previous health articles: