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Video:How to Calculate Ideal Body Weight

with Dr. Gerald Bernstein

Childhood obesity has increasingly become a problem, so it's helpful to know what your child's ideal weight is. This video from About.com will show you how to calculate your child's ideal body weight.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Calculate Ideal Body Weight

Hello, I'm Doctor Gerald Bernstein, Director of the Diabetes Management Program of the Friedman Diabetes Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.

Different Weight Charts

Let's talk about body weight. There are all kinds of ways of looking at it. It's what you see. It's what you can measure. And there are so many variables that you need some kind of standard to approach it.

Recognizing this, groups like the Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health, WHO, etc., have devised formulas, tables and charts. Weight charts and growth charts are very similar.

Looking for the Standard Deviation

What you have is what is the average weight at any given age. And then roughly, there's something called the standard deviation – how much of the population, say 95%, fits in around that average – and that's the range that we look for.

Reading a Weight Chart for Children

In general, you will have on a growth chart or a weight chart, one line in the middle which is showing you the average, and then you will have lines at the extremes of the ninety five percent of the population and then everything in between.

What you're interested in is: Does my child fit somewhere inside that weight chart or are they outside in either direction? They may be severely underweight or they may be severely overweight.

And again, this is something that needs to be dealt with on a professional level with your pediatrician.

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