Growth Screening

Every year, many children who attend in public schools have their weight and height measured. Their body mass index (BMI) is then computed using this data. A child’s BMI can be used as a screening tool to identify whether they are overweight or underweight. The BMI of a child is calculated using the height to weight ratio. Based on the child’s age and gender, BMI is given as a percentile ranking. The percentile ranges were developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in order to identify children who may be at risk for severe health issues like heart disease and insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes.

The BMI can generate some false positives or negatives, like all screening tools. A student, for instance, might have an unnaturally high BMI because they have a lot of muscular mass, similar to what an athlete in good shape would have. It is more crucial to monitor a child’s development over time than to take a single assessment. It is advised that a child see their doctor to discuss the findings if their weight falls outside of the range considered to be healthy.

Measuring BMI can assist in identifying children who may be underweight in addition to those who are at danger of obesity. Children who are underweight run the risk of developing health issues like malnutrition, poor growth and development, and compromised immune systems. By calculating BMI, medical workers can make sure children are getting the nutrition and encouragement they need to stay at a healthy weight.

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