Child Obesity Chart
Child obesity can be officially diagnosed by a doctor using infant growth charts, or, for a teenager, the body mass index. The growth chart is a tool that compares your child's weight, for his/her height and age, with infants across the world. According to doctors, chubbiness is normal in babies, and your child should look noticeably fat for you to be concerned.
By the time a child reaches the age of five, he or she should have the lowest fat and the lowest BMI. (In determining obesity, we use the BMI - Body Mass Index - a chart that uses a ratio of weight to height, dividing the person's weight in kilograms by the square of their body's height in meters. For children between the ages of 2 and 20, the BMI is calculated on a special chart based on their age and sex.) If the child is gaining extraordinary amounts of weight between the ages of two and five, then there is cause to worry. After the age of five, if the child is overweight and/or gaining weight, this is definitely not a cause of baby fat - this is something more dangerous and unhealthy.
Knowing that the BMI formula does not measure body fat percentage should help you in assessing the sate of your obese child's health.
Body Fat Percentage The Big Picture
It is first helpful to know what percentage of your obese child's total weight is comprised of fat. There are several methods available of doing this. However, it is worth noting that you already know the body fat percentage of your child is higher than it should be so proper nutrition and exercise is the best solution. For those who are curious here are a few examples.
Also known as underwater weighing. This is by far the most accurate means to calculate fat percentage but it can be rather expensive and is not something that can be done at home. This method is performed by being totally submerged in water. Knowing that fat is less dense than muscle and bones it is fairly easy to calculate the fat percentage.
Body Fat Calipers
This is a much more affordable alternative and is readily available. Use the calipers to take a pinch of skin and record the measurements. This is usually done at several different locations of your body and it is recommended to use the same location when you check on your progress. You then use a formula to determine the body fat percentage.
Bioelectrical Impedence Analysis or BIA
This method uses body fat scales that send a safe small electrical current through the body to calculate the amount of body fat tissue. Your body fat percentage is then calculated based on height, weight, age and sex. It is a harmless method and fairly accurate. These scales are available in the marketplace and reasonably priced.
The Final Analysis
Helping your child overcome obesity is a challenge. Sometimes it is best to have some facts and figures enabling them to compare their overall progress. The starting point would be to first know what their ideal weight should be. This way they have a goal to reach. At first it may appear to be an unattainable goal so you need to offer encouragement and even volunteer to participate. Design a chart that you can use to record the body mass index formula results in and set a schedule for checking on their progress. Maybe set up a file on the computer to keep track of their progress.