Cincinnati Children's Blog

Study Finds Obesity Is Undercounted in Children

Bob Siegel, medical director of the Center for Better Health and Nutrition at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, agrees with a recent study showing that measuring body mass index (BMI) fails to identify as much as 25% of children and teens who have excess body fat.

The study proved that although measuring BMI is an easy and inexpensive way to screen for obesity, the calculation isn’t well-suited to children because their height and weight don’t increase proportionally as they grow. Siegel’s practice uses techniques other than BMI, including bioelectric-impedance devices.

“It takes more time and there’s a little bit of training involved and it varies somewhat on hydration status,” said Dr. Siegel, but it is a more reliable indicator of body fatness than BMI.

Visit the Wall Street Journal’s website to learn more about the study and BMI.

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