Should I be concerned about my son's weight?
Asked by anonymous on May 07, 2009 in Family & Pregnancy



My son, who is 13 years old, just had his annual check up.  The pediatrician said he's in the 50th percentile for height and 75th for weight.   He seems to crave sweets and junk food all the time and I feel like I'm constantly watching him to make sure he doesn't make bad choices.  What does the "percentile" really represent and how much value should I put in the number?


Answer

Your son’s weight is in the healthy range, between the 5th and 85th percentile.  The percentiles are the curved lines on the pediatric growth charts that track a child’s height and weight over the years.  The doctor plots the measurements at least once a year.  Kids basically grow along the same percentile line.  A drift or jump across percentiles indicates a the need to look closer.  With height at the 50th percentile and weight at the 75th, your son seems like rugged or muscular kid of average height.  For a child to be at risk of overweight, weight must be in the 85th to  94th percentile.  Over the 95th percentile is classified as overweight.  Learn how to read pediatric growth charts and assess a child’s weight  at About.com.


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