Mercy Children's Hospital
Kohl's Kids in Action
Am I Too Fat or Too Thin?
Your body works best when you are the "right size" meaning that there's a weight that is healthiest for your body type and individual size. Television adds and magazines show pictures of people who are thin. Being thin is not necessarily the right size for you!
Kids who are underweight:
- Can't fight off germs as easily and may become sick because their body doesn't have the energy it needs to fight off infections.
- May have more difficulty in school, because doing school work requires energy. Overeating can cause problems too! Kids who are overweight may not be getting the right nutrients to keep them healthy.
Kids who are overweight:
- May have more difficulty keeping up with friends on the playground.
- Could have health problems like difficulty with sleep and breathing.
< What you eat is only part of the health equation. Physical activity is the other part.
Think of ideal body weight as the balance of a see-saw.
|Physical Activity||Healthy Weight||Food Intake|
Your weight is affected by how much physical activity you get and the type and amount of food you eat. For a healthy weight, you need to balance both. Snacking on high-fat foods (like chips and French fries), put you at greater risk for overweight. Kids who sit a lot are also at risk even if they eat healthy food choices. Children who watch the most hours of television have the highest chance of being overweight. Remember, people are different heights and body frames. It's important to have the right weight for YOU!
How do I know if I'm over weight?
The measure most commonly used to check for weight problems is called the Body Mass Index or BMI. For school age children, if the BMI is between the 85th and 94th percentile, the term used is overweight. If the BMI is equal or greater than the 95th percentile the term used is obese.
How to calculate BMI
To calculate this measurement, you need your current age, height and weight. There is a wonderful link that will help you determine your personal BMI. Click here: apps.nccd.gov/dnpabmi . For more information on BMI, visit www.cdc.gov
If I think I'm overweight, what should I do?
First talk to your mom, dad or an adult you trust like a guidance counselor at school. You may want to see a doctor or a registered dietician to develop a meal plan that is right for you. Next, look at how you can make changes in your own life. Small changes over time can all add up to a healthy weight.
- Just 10 minutes of exercise six times a day can make a difference in your weight.
- Cutting down on television, video game or computer time will help.
- Choose healthy snacks like fruits and veggies.
- Drink plenty of water all day long.
What about a diet?
Your body is still growing and needs energy. Health experts usually will not recommend a “diet”. Your doctor may suggest you eat more nutritious foods, cut down on portion sizes and increase your physical activity. But most doctors encourage kids to change their food choices and activity level so that they grow into a healthy weight.