Statistics reveal that having a good healthy body prolongs an individual’s life by 70%. So, are you a parent seeking to improve your teenager’s health? Perhaps you should consider using Body Mass Index (BMI) to monitor their weight. Basically, BMI is an individual’s body weight in kilograms divided by the squire of height, which is of course in meters. So, how do you use this sophisticated device on your teenager? Its criterion is similar to that of measuring low and high blood sugars. It relies on simply recording the highs and lows of the body’s metabolism. To help you get a good understanding of what is BMI and how it operates, take a peek at the detailed review below.
As mentioned earlier, BMI is an individual’s weight in Kilogram divided by his or height in meters. To measure these, a simple gadget is provided by the doctor. Meaning you will first make a visit to the doctor before you can take measurements. The gadget can also be used to measure both teens and children. Note that, kids who measure at the 85th and 94th percentile mark are considered to be either overweight or with excess fats in their bodies. In case you find your kid to have such readings, it is always necessary to apply the required precautions to avoid weight-related diseases and other health issues. On the other hand, falling under the radar might also put your kid at risk for underweight health-related issues.
Statistics reveal that BMI does not measure fat directly. It records body changes such as skin fold thickness, dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and biometrical impendence. Before heading to how it operates, note that this method is not perfect in measuring your actual teen’s body fat but it provides a fairly accurate assessment of how much fat is contained in your teen’s body. Also, girls grow sooner than boys, and therefore, their BMI readings will definitely vary. For this reason, consulting with your doctor prior to using the gadget on your teenager is necessary.
BMI percentile interpretation and how it works
Calculating BMI is quite simple. In fact, as a teenager, you can do it without the help of your parents. Nonetheless, how do you interpret the readings? After taking the required measurements, you can either calculate manually or use the severally free online calculators. You will realize that the readings will be expressed in form of a percentile. These
percentiles are simply an indication of an individual’s overall health. The measurements range from 1 to 100. If your measurement falls between 5th to less than the 85th percentile you are considered healthy. In other words, it is regarded as the normal percentile. To be considered overweight, your readings should read between 85th to less than the 95thpercentile. On extreme cases, where an individual is considered obese, readings should be equal to or greater than the 95thpercentile. BMI readings of less than the 5th percentile are considered underweight.
However, do these readings apply to adults, kids, and teenagers? The answer is quite simple. BMI readings vary from one age group to the other.
BMI interpretation on kids, adults, and teens
Even though the overall calculation of weight divided by weight is similar in all cases, there are several factors that should be considered in order to attain accurate results. These factors include age and gender. Typically, a normal human being’s weight and height changes as they age.
These changes contribute to the increase in body fatness as well.
BMI readings on children and teenagers should be expressed similarly to others that are of the same age and sex. Their percentiles are also calculated based on the national survey data. These data, however, varies from one country to another. For adults, BMI calculations are interpreted on weight status categories that are not dependent on age or sex.
BMI for Teens
What is a healthy BMI for a teen? According to a study case that was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the average BMI for a teenager aged between 12-17 years was 22. However, this percentile increased two years later to 24.5. This means that although you might stumble upon sources giving a certain percentile as the average, the truth is; it changes over time. In fact, in the US alone, the average BMI for teens aged 12-18 increased by more than 4 units between 1962 and 2003. The main cause of these fluctuations mainly lies in the height and weight difference between boys and girls. It was noted that, during the given period, the average height of boys to girls was 0.3 to 0.7 inches consecutively.
The average weight also increased by over 12 pounds in girls and over 15 pounds for boys. Whereas adolescence is termed as the hardest stage to control your teen, as a parent, it is always necessary to provide the required knowledge on the dangers of obesity. According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, the number of obesity teenagers in the US has constantly increased over the past 40 years. Normally, you might blame it on diet but bad parenting also plays a significant role. Ensure you nurture your teens eating habits from as early as 10 years.
Health consequences of obesity in Child and Teenagers
Child obesity can not only be shameful to the parent but can also risk serious health dangers.
Below is a highlight of some of these consequences.
- Joint problems and discomfort of the musculoskeletal structure
- High blood pressure, which can also lead to high cholesterol levels and risk of developing cardio vascular disease (CVD)
- Low self-esteem.
- Asthma, sleep apnea, and other breathing problems.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Depression and other psychological problem which can also lead to low a performance in school.
To avoid the above consequences, it is recommended to check your kids, child or teens BMI regularly as well as impose strict rules on unhealthy eating habits. After all, health is a serious concern that requires any parent’s immediate attention plus it wouldn’t hurt to instill a little precaution that will pay off eventually. As it goes, a stitch in time saves nine.