Posted by: TVE | 2013/02/05

5yr old BMI too high?

I have a 5yr old daughter who is 1.24m tall and weighs in at 30kg. (She was born weighing 4.3kg and measuring 58cm) If I use these online BMI calculators, they tell me that she is obese! Is there a need for me to change her diet? or to put her on a diet? What is the best course of action. She currently eats a yoghurt &  some muesli for breakfast. I pack a sandwich, fruit and Oros in for her for lunch and then she eats supper with us in the evenings which I try to make as healthy as possible.

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Our expert says:
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Dear TVE
Your daughter's current BMI = 19,48 which is above the obesity cut-off point of 19,17 for 5-year-old girls. There is indeed an urgent need to change her diet, but before you do please take her to a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). It is essential that she should assess your child's diet and make changes to achieve weightloss, but still supply her with the essential nutrients that she needs to grow and develop normally. It is also important to give attention to the amount of physical activity your child does every day. Encourage her to be as active as possible by taking her for walks or playing with her or taking her swimming while the weather is still so hot. Buy her a skipping rope and encourage her to skip for 10 min 3 times a day.
But please see the dietitian because a healthy diet and exercise at this stage could make a difference for the rest of your daughter's life.
Best regards

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