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  • Body mass index (BMI) is calculated as follows:
    • BMI = (Weight in kg)/(Height in m)2
  • BMI is an effective screening tool, not a diagnostic one.
  • For children, BMI is age and gender specific.
  • Children who are at the 85th to 95th percentiles are considered overweight.
  • Children who are at or above the 95th percentile are considered obese.
  • Children who are below the 5th percentile are considered underweight.
  • BMI charts: www.cdc.gov/growthcharts or www.accesspediatrics.com

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eFigure 5-1
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BMI for age percentiles for boys, ages 2 to 20 years.

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eFigure 5-2
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BMI for age percentiles for girls, ages 2 to 20 years.

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Standard growth charts are available at www.cdc.gov/growthcharts.

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Charts for Ages 0 to 36 Months

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eFigure 5-3
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Length for age and weight for age percentiles for boys, birth to age 36 months.

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eFigure 5-4
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Head circumference percentiles for age and weight for length for boys, birth to age 36 months.

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eFigure 5-5
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Length for age and weight for age percentiles for girls, birth to age 36 months.

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eFigure 5-6
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Head circumference percentiles for age and weight for length for girls, birth to age 36 months.

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Charts for Ages 2 to 20 Years

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eFigure 5-7
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Stature for age and weight for age percentiles for boys, ages 2 to 20 years.

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eFigure 5-8
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Stature for age and weight for age percentiles for girls, ages 2 to 20 years.

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Specialized Growth Charts

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  • Down Syndrome Growth Chart: Pediatrics 1978;61:564.
  • Cerebral Palsy Growth Chart: J Am Diet Assoc 1996;96:680.
  • Turner Syndrome Stature Chart: Arch Dis Child 1985;60;932.
  • Achondroplasia Growth Chart: J Pediatr 1978;93:435.
  • Noonan Syndrome Growth Chart: Clin Genet 1986;30:150.
  • Williams Syndrome Growth Chart: Pediatrics 1988;113:318.

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Waterlow Criteria

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  • These criteria are appropriate for children ages 1 to 3 years.
  • Changes in weight may be an indicator of acute malnutrition.
    • Image not available.

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eFigure 5-9
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Fetal-infant growth chart for preterm infants. *The use of regular CDC growth charts is recommended after an infant reaches 40 weeks gestation. On these charts, values should be plotted based on corrected gestational age (CGA = # weeks ...

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