BMI…. TMI- Body Mass Index and what it all means.

I mentioned in a recent post that WiMi had went in for their 3 yr. wellness visits and got an overall clean bill of health... The only "red-flag" issue was that the pediatrician was concerned about their BMI(Body Mass Index). For those of you who don't know, BMI also known as the Quetelet index is a formula used by the Nat'l Institute of Health (NIH) to determine the amount of body fat for an individual using height and weight.

        “little man” fit as a fiddle.

For example:
An adult male who is: 6' 4" and 150 lbs. has a bmi of 18.26 is considered underweight.

So at the risk of violating HIPPA laws , the pediatrician put both boys at a BMI of about 17.4 which she stated was "borderline" overweight. I did come right home and jumped on the computer to research further to either confirm or debunk her prognosis, and 4/5 web-sites "agreed". Personally I think they are healthy young black young boys. .

Boys' BMI chart

Girl's BMI Chart

Before we left her office she had already made some suggestions such as them getting more exercise and watching their portions and other dietary adjustments. I interpreted "borderline" to mean that moderate not drastic measures could easily address this issue I decided I was going to be proactive on this but didn't want to make a knee-jerk reaction and just totally over-haul their diet... doing the best I could during my parenting time.
Some of the marginal "adjustments: I made to their diet included:
  • Switching from 2% to 1% milk.
  • Smaller portions
  • switched from juice to natural flavored waters
  • No syrup on waffles/pancakes
  • No snacks/milk before bed-time
  • and of course MORE and MORE exercise and physical activities.
These adjustments were ever so slight and the boys didn't notice many of them. I think the toughest was probably the absence of milk before bed-time , but they eventually adapted to that as well. About 2 weeks later the boys were down 3/4 lbs and back within a healthy "percentile". Everyone is happy and no one was really stressed out over any "big" changes to their diet. One thing I've learned as a parent, it's always easier on everyone to take the more laid-back methodical approach.

Of course it being Summer there are certain indulgences I don't deny the boys... besides with this heat its important to keep them hydrated, and cool and it's not so easy to get boys to drink 30 oz of plain bottled water. So they do have a 2 Icee/week max and I try to keep frozen treats more water/fruit based vs. milk. i.e. sorbet/sherbet vs ice cream.

From the information the pediatrician gave us from the Ohio Dept of Health "Ounce of Prevention" program, here are some more helpful tips in regulating your child's weight and/or BMI.
  • Serve 1% or skim milk
  • Serve small portions and let your child ask for more.
  • Request information on serving sizes.
  • Serve the same food the rest of the family is eating
  • When eating out- split meals between children or share yours.
  • For desert , try healthier options such as yogurt or fruit.
  • DON'T force your child to eat or to clean their plate.(This is a big one, even I'm guilty of that one)
  • Be active
  • Limit t.v. time.
  • Plan activities that include the entire family.
  • No tv in the bedroom.
We're reminded that one of our main jobs as parents is to eat a variety of healthy foods. Of course a lot of this is basic common sense. Do we need a chart or index to know that McDonalds 2-3 times a week isn't healthy or Oreos before bed-time isn't a good idea? I think not... simply try and remember what it was our own parents did in trying to make sure we ate healthy.

For more information on BMI and children's' weight maintenance here are some resources.

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Find the Right Weight For Your Height with our BMI Chart Fast

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BMI Calculator For Kids.

www.keepkidshealthy.com/welcome/bmicalculator.html - CachedSimilar
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Jun 22, 2008 – BMI Calculator: input your childs height and weight and calculates his body ... Welcome to Keep Kids Healthy · Information about Newborns ...

Thanks for reading and I look forward to some of you "weighing in" with your thoughts... lol


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