Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI stands for body mass index. BMI uses your child’s weight and height to see if your child is too heavy, too thin or a good weight for his/her age. It is given to you as a number. Using this number, you can see how your child compares with children who are the same age. This is called BMI-for-Age percentile.
  • If the BMI is in the yellow area, your child may be underweight.
  • If the BMI is in the green area, your child is at a healthy weight
  • If the BMI is in the red area, your child may be overweight or obese.

High muscle mass may affect the BMI-for-Age percentile.

BMI Graph

BMI-for-Age Percentile

Think 5-2-1-0 countdown to success.

BMI-for-Age percentile is only one measure of a healthy life.  To help your child get to and/or stay at a healthy weight, follow these guidelines. 

5 Eat at least 5 fruit or vegetables servings every day 

2   Limit screen time (TV, video games, computer) to less than 2 hours per day 

Get at least 1 hour of activity every day.  Go for a walk, play outside, dance or jump rope 

Get zero calories from drinks except for skim, fat-free or 1% milk

Adapted from the BMI Screening Guidelines for School Massachusetts Department of Public Health


Last Updated 11/2014