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Childhood obesity is a condition where excess body fat negatively affects a child's health or well-being. As methods to determine body fat directly are difficult, the diagnosis of obesity is often based on BMI.
Body mass index (BMI) is acceptable for determining obesity for children two years of age and older. It is determined by the ratio of weight to height. The normal range for BMI in children vary with age and sex. While a BMI above the 85th percentile is defined as overweight, a BMI greater than or equal to the 95th percentile is defined as obesity by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has published tables for determining this in children
The US Preventive Service Task Force reported that not all children with a high BMI need to lose weight though. High BMI can identify a possible weight problem but does not differentiate between fat or lean tissue. .Additionally, BMI may mistakenly rule out some children who do have excess adipose tissue. It is therefore beneficial to supplement the reliability of a BMI diagnosis with additional screening tools such as adipose tissue or skin fold measurements.
Treatment for childhood obesity is dependent on the child's age and if he or she has other medical conditions. Treatment usually includes advising changes in child's diet and physical activity level. In some circumstances, treatment might include medications or weight-loss surgery.