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Md Med. 2004 Summer;5(3):19-21.

Defining overweight in children using growth charts.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland, USA.


Although the increase in pediatric overweight has paralleled the increase in obesity among adults, the definitions of obesity in adults and overweight in children are not the same. Empirically determined fixed cutoffs that identify increased risk are used for adults while statistical definitions based on reference populations are used for children. A variety of reference-data sets for BMI in childhood exist. In the United States, the 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) BMI-for-age growth charts are recommended for screening of overweight and at-risk for overweight in childhood. For children and teens ages two to 19 years, overweight is defined as a BMI-for-age > or = 95th percentile and atrisk for overweight is defined as a BMI-for-age between the 85th and 95th percentiles. The 2000 CDC growth charts provide a growth reference, not a prescriptive standard, for U.S. children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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