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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

eFigure 5-1

BMI for age percentiles for boys, ages 2 to 20 years.

eFigure 5-2

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

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

Charts for Ages 0 to 36 Months

eFigure 5-3

Length for age and weight for age percentiles for boys, birth to age 36 months.

eFigure 5-4

Head circumference percentiles for age and weight for length for boys, birth to age 36 months.

eFigure 5-5

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

eFigure 5-6

Head circumference percentiles for age and weight for length for girls, birth to age 36 months.

Charts for Ages 2 to 20 Years

eFigure 5-7

Stature for age and weight for age percentiles for boys, ages 2 to 20 years.

eFigure 5-8

Stature for age and weight for age percentiles for girls, ages 2 to 20 years.

Specialized Growth Charts

  • 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.

Waterlow Criteria

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

eFigure 5-9

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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