- Annual assessment of BMI-for-age is recommended for all children and teens aged 2 to 20 years.
- BMI-for-age is a screening tool, not a diagnostic tool. BMI-for-age is one component of health risk assessment, which can also include behavioral health and other conditions.
- For children, BMI is age- and sex-specific, and BMI categories are defined based on percentiles. Sex-specific BMI-for-age categories are defined as: underweight (BMI<5th percentile), healthy weight (BMI≥5th and <95th percentile), overweight (BMI≥85th and <95th percentile), obesity (BMI≥95th percentile), and severe obesity (BMI≥120% of the 95th percentile).
- The 2022 extended BMI-for-age growth charts can be used to track BMI for children aged 2 to 20 years with very high BMIs above the 97th percentile. The 2000 CDC Growth Charts and their recommended use for children and adolescents without obesity have not changed.
- Accurate categorization and interpretation of BMI and BMI-for-age percentiles depends on the accuracy of height and weight measurements.