Body Mass Index (BMI)

A complete story of your child’s health is told by their Body Mass Index, or BMI, which is a ratio of weight to height that factors in age and gender.

For the past two years, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and other schools across the country have been phasing in a BMI assessment program in schools. School nurses plot the numbers on a chart that describes whether a child’s weight is proportional to their height to determine whether a child is overweight or underweight.

BMI is particularly useful when teens are going through puberty and their weight and body fat frequently changes. BMI is an excellent tool that lets parents know whether their child’s weight is rising too fast for their height.

To calculate your child’s BMI, we recommend the following BMI calculators:

Center for Disease Control BMI Calculator for Children and Teens

KidsHealth BMI Calculator