Which children weigh too much?

These children can often be recognised by simple inspection. Their weight falls above the 97th centile (overweight-for-age) while their height and head circumference usually fall in the normal range. Their growth curve for weight often shows a weight gain faster than normal. They are too fat.

A weight above the 97th centile with a height below the 50th centile suggests a hormonal problem, which needs to be investigated.

Some children grow faster than normal and their size measurements cross centiles. This growth pattern is seen normally at puberty and in some children after an illness or period of malnutrition (catch up growth). Rapid gain in weight only is also seen with obesity, some endocrine disorders and generalized oedema.

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