Obesity is a health problem that affects 15% of children and teens in the United States. Today there are three times as many obese children and teens as there were 20 years ago.
Seattle Children’s nationally recognized Obesity Program focuses on the many factors that contribute to obesity. Our program comprehensively addresses both obesity prevention and treatment through clinical care, advocacy, research and education (CARE).
Our vision is to help reduce obesity – and health conditions that can occur with it, like high blood pressure, diabetes, liver and heart disease – and to improve the quality of life of children and teens who are overweight or obese.
Is My Child Overweight?
If you wonder if your child is overweight, the most important thing to do is talk with your primary care provider or another health provider trained on childhood overweight. The provider can accurately measure your child’s height and weight and calculate their body mass index (BMI).
Your provider will compare your child’s BMI to other children of the same age and sex. Your provider will then consider your child’s past growth and development patterns and current BMI to find out if their weight is a concern. Also, if your child is more muscular than other kids the same age, your provider will consider this in determining if your child is overweight.
Remember, the BMI is a tool used to look at health status, but it should be used along with other health measurements.