Overweight means weighing too much; obesity means having too much body fat. Both of these terms mean an individual’s weight is greater than what’s healthy for their height, according to MedlinePlus. BMI or body mass index is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics to screen for overweight and obesity in children and teens from age 2 to 19.
BMI is the number obtained from the calculation of a child’s height and weight; it indicates the body fatness of a child, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a not a diagnostic tool, it is an easy, painless and inexpensive screening tool to detect weight status that may later pose health risks.
Introduction of BMI Program
BMI guidelines measurement programs 10 in schools was published in Decemcber 2007, in the Journal of School Health, according to the CDC. This information includes the purposes of BMI measurement programs, examines current practices, reviews existing research, a summary of experts recommendations, identifies concerns about the school based programs, guidance, a list of safeguards and plans for future research, according to the CDC.
The guidelines are, according to the CDC:
The purpose of the BMI measurement programs are for surveillance and screening.
To assess the weight status of a specific of students in individual schools, school districts or state and identify the percentage of students of students that are at risk for health problems due to their weight. The data should be anonymous and may be used for purposes of trending the population and monitoring outcomes of actions taken.
A successful program meets the following criteria, according to the CDC.
Regarding disease; undetected cases must be common, new cases must occur frequently and the disease must have adverse consequences. There must be beneficial and early intervention of effective treatment and those with a positive screening test must be referred for more definitive evaluation with appropriate treatment if indicated. Screening tests must be sensitive, specific and reliable and the screener must be well trained. The targeted population for screening should be on groups with high prevalence of the disease or condition that will benefit from early intervention. The benefit to the individual being screened should outweigh the expenses. The site should be appropriate for conducting, screening and communicating the results and the program should be evaluated for its value and effectiveness.
Medline Plus: Obesity in Children
CDC: About BMI for Children and Teens
CDC: Body Mass Index Measurement in Schools