How fat is your child?
From The Times
September 29, 2007
Weighing up the evidence
1. It is more difficult to gauge whether a child is overweight or obese than an adult because they are growing anyway, and do so at different rates.
2. The fit of a child’s clothes is a rough measure. If clothes for their age are right for their height but too tight round the waist, they could be overweight.
3. You can track your child’s weight using an online body mass index (BMI) calculator (see panel right), which alerts you if they are overweight or obese.
4. The words obese and overweight have specific definitions according to specific BMIs for adults, but not for children. Generally, they describe the accumulation of sufficient body fat to potentially affect health.
5. Another way of judging whether your child is overweight is using centile BMI charts for children, similar to those used to check whether a child’s growth is in the normal range. These are not yet widely available but your GP or health visitor should be able to show you them. They show what a healthy BMI would be for a child of a particular age and sex.
Recommended daily breakdown of food groups for over fives
33% fruit and veg
33% carbs: breads, cereals, potatoes, rice
12% protein: meat, fish, alternatives (eg. beans)
7% fats and sugars
15% dairy products
At least one hour of moderate intensity exercise (eg swimming, cycling) every day.
Boys aged 4-6 1,715 calories
Girls aged 4-6 1,545 calories
Boys aged 7-10 1,970 calories
Girls aged 7-10 1,740 calories