BMI not perfect, but it's the best tool now

6:04 PM, Sep 28, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- One look at 9-year-old Matthew Varney and the last description you'd give is overweight.

Yet his Body Mass Index score indicated he was slightly overweight. 

His mom was upset when she received the letter from school.  Cleveland Clinic researchers are tracking the BMI's of school kids in 16 suburban districts to see if healthy programs can impact the childhood obesity epidemic. 

But the nearly 200-year-old formula only calculates height and weight ratio. It doesn't take muscle mass into consideration.  Muscle weighs more than fat and can tweak the numbers. 

That's why it's important that parents discuss the results at their next pediatrician appointment to make sure their child is on a healthy track.


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