Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

March 14, 2013

The Big Fat Picture

by Tracy Jensen

BMI, or body mass index, is the standard by which kids and adults are deemed either a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. Kids can be screened by doctors, by parents, and in the state of Massachusetts, by the school district. One 10-year-old and his family received a letter from the school district suggesting, based on his BMI, that the boy was obese. However, this kid is also the state wrestling champ and pretty fit if you take a look at the video of this kid doing crunches.

BMI screenings are certainly important, but do they tell the whole story? Is he or she getting enough exercise? Eating healthy foods? Avoiding becoming sedentary? All these things contribute to the big picture. The BMI can be a good place to start. But for a more holistic picture, especially, if you are concerned about the possibility of your child being overweight, your doctor should be involved.

It’s true, we do have a real national problem with obesity. But the problem is more than skin deep. We should look beyond things like BMI and the child’s appearance, and try to understand if the child is truly at risk for the diseases and other health risks associated with being overweight.

What would you do if your kid got a “fat letter” from school?

Posted by: at


Leave a comment

Subscribe & Stay Informed

Get the 'Fit4Families' feed Add to any service

Kids Healthy Weight & BMI Calculator

Enter your child's information:
Get Started