For Parents and Guardians: Healthy Weight for Healthy Kids and Teens

1.4 Tracking and Monitoring Your Child/Teen’s Weight

Your child/teen’s pediatrician or nurse uses their weight and height to calculate a number called the Body Mass Index (BMI).  Then the pediatrician or nurse puts that number on a graph to compare your child/teen’s BMI  to the BMI of other children/teens who are the same age. Do you remember sitting in math class and your teacher asking you to put dots on a graph? It’s the same  thing!  

These graphs are called CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) growth charts.  One graph is used for boys 2-20 years old and different graph is used for girls 2-20 years old.  Take a look at the graph that your child/teen’s health care provider uses to monitor your their growth, including their weight.

Click here to see the graph for boys.

Click here to see the graph for girls.

Click here  to see an example of how your child or teen’s pediatrician/nurse uses the graph.  This example is for a 10-year-old boy. The graph gives a few examples.

Don’t worry if you don’t fully grasp the concept.  You don’t need to because your child/teen’s healthcare provider is responsible for doing this.   It is more important that you look at the graphs so that you know what the pediatrician or nurse uses to decide if your child or teen is underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. Keep in mind that the doctor or nurse may use other tests. The BMI is usually the first and most common test.


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