are classified as overweight or "at risk" with a BMI
between the 85th and 95th percentile. Children with a BMI over
the 95th percentile are considered obese (Moskdad AH; 1999, 2001).
For ages 2 to 7 years of age, weight loss is only recommended
for those with a BMI above the 95th percentile with certain medical
complications such as hypertension, dyslipidemias, and insulin
resistance. In contrast, weight maintenance is recommended with
a BMI between the 85th and 94th percentile or with a BMI above
the 95th percentile with no medical complications.
For children 7 years and over, weight maintenance is recommended
for those with a BMI between the 85th and 94th percentile and
no medical complications. Weight loss is recommended for those
with medical complications or children with a BMI above the 95th
Children with acute complications such as pseudotumer cerebri,
sleep apnea, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, or orthopedic
problems, should be referred to a pediatric obesity center. Children
younger than 2 years of age should also be referred to a pediatric
Barlow SE, Dietz, WH, (1998). Obesity evaluation and treatment:
expert committee recommendation, Pediatrics, 103, 3.