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Health officials revise charts for childhood obesity

Associated Press/Photo by Patrick Sison, file

Health officials revise charts for childhood obesity

The Centers for Disease Control and Protection released updated growth charts Thursday that extend the top number on children’s body mass index charts from 37 to 60. Doctors use the charts to help parents track and discuss their children’s growth. The revisions will help guide the conversation between parents and healthcare providers, the CDC’s Alyson Goodman said.

When were the old charts made? Physicians had used them since 2000. They were based on data from surveys conducted from 1963 to 1994, said Cynthia Ogden, a CDC epidemiologist. Today, about 4.5 million children, or 6 percent, fit the definition of obese. Not having a chart to track progress for those children can sometimes hinder treatment, said Tom Inge, who directs the weight loss surgery program at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Dig deeper: Read Heather Frank’s article in Beginnings on the rise in diabetes deaths.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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