The CDC defines an overweight adult as having a BMI of 25 to 29.9 and an obese adult as having a BMI of >30. However, the CDC definition of overweight and obese children and adolescents is different from the adult definition. The terminology for an overweight child or adolescent is "at risk for overweight," which is defined as a BMI >85th percentile for age and gender. The terminology for an obese child or adolescent is "overweight," which is defined as a BMI >95th percentile for age and gender . The reasons for this difference will be explained later in this chapter when the child and adolescent BMI chart is discussed in greater detail.
For some parents and young patients, using two definitions of overweight to describe someone who is either overweight or obese may be confusing. Consistent with the terminology used for adults, the American Obesity Association (AOA) uses the 85th to the 95th percentile to define "overweight" and the 95th percentile and greater for "obese" . In order not to confuse parents and young patients with "at risk for overweight" when the patient is obviously overweight and "overweight" when the patient is obviously obese, the AOA terminology for overweight and obesity will be used to describe young patients who are in the 85th and 95th percentile by age and gender.
Was this article helpful?