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.
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