The 6-12 year age group is in a latent period of growth, while children 12-18 years old experience their main period of growth. The usual BMI range is 18 to 23. But is it applicable to children who are 6 to 12 years old?

Sometimes with higher income groups I also find children with lower BMI scores - for example, 13. Sometimes children do not show any significant symptoms, or they have low haemoglobin counts in blood tests. And childhood obesity is becoming more common. So is it useful to take BMI into consideration to determine a balanced diet for a child of this age group? What BMI range should be considered as optimum for children below 12?

  • could you please have a look at your punctuation? Because its pretty annoying to have a lack of spaces behind your points.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Apr 29, 2011 at 14:27
  • @Ivo Flipse,I will take care next time.I will not write anything in hurry. Apr 30, 2011 at 1:39
  • BMI has a number of fatal flaws, as noted in my answer here. Jun 15, 2012 at 5:26

1 Answer 1


BMI itself is a lousy proxy for physical fitness - just ask weightlifters - and it has to be calibrated to the physical scale of adult human beings, so I can't see how it could properly apply to small children. It's better to use the standard height/weight charts to see where a given child falls compared to other children (i.e. in terms of percentile).

EDIT: For example, the charts found here, and in particular the boys and girls aged 2-20 charts.

  • @Madhuri Sathe: Um...if you like the answer, upvote it, please. You could also pick it as the correct answer, although you might want to give it a little longer in case someone else posts a better answer.
    – jprete
    Apr 30, 2011 at 3:58

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