Body Mass Index (BMI)-for-Age Percentile
Record BMI-for-Age Percentile on the Confidential Screening/Billing Report (PM 160)
for all children/adolescents 2 years and older.
INSTRUCTIONS for determining and recording BMI-for-age percentile (See example on page 2)
1. Accurately measure standing height* in inches to the nearest quarter (1/4) inch. Record on the PM
160. Fill in all three spaces in the height section. “0” is preprinted in the first (left) space. Enter whole
inches in the second and third spaces. “ /4” is preprinted in the last (right) space for recording fractions.
Convert all fractions of an inch to the nearest one-quarter (1/4) inch as indicated below:
Whole inches = Enter 0/4
½ inch = 2/4 = Enter 2/4
¼ inch = Enter 1/4
¾ inch = Enter 3/4
2. Accurately measure weight* in pounds to the nearest ounce. Record on the PM 160. Fill in all five
spaces in the weight section. Record pounds in the first three spaces and ounces in the next two
spaces. Enter a leading zero (0) in the first space for weights less than 100 pounds. Enter number of
ounces or zeros when there are no ounces.
3. Determine BMI value by using the standard BMI equation identified on CDC/NCHS growth charts or
use a pediatric version of a calculating tool: BMI wheel (values calibrated to tenths); CDC BMI chart
(values calibrated to tenths); personal digital assistant program or online calculator. Record the BMI
value on the appropriate (boys or girls) CDC/NCHS “BMI-for-age percentiles” growth chart:
to the nearest tenth (0.1) of a decimal point.
4. Determine BMI-for-age percentile (%ile) by plotting BMI value on the CDC/NCHS “BMI-for-age
percentiles” boys or girls growth chart. Record BMI percentile on the PM 160 by estimating a whole
number between 1 and 99 that best represents the percentile point (intersection of BMI value and age)
plotted on the growth chart or the absolute number obtained from a software program or online
calculator. Enter a leading zero in the first space for numbers less than 10. For numbers below the 1
percentile, enter “01”. For numbers over the 99
percentile, enter “99”.
5. Determine weight category by referring to the guidelines from the 2007 AMA Expert Committee
Recommendations on the Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight
Record the weight category in the “comments” box on the PM 160 if the child’s weight falls outside
the healthy range. For example, write “obese” when the BMI is in the 95-98
percentile. Use the 2007
AMA Expert Committee Recommendations as guidance for categories.
* CHDP Health Assessment Guidelines, Appendix, Growth Assessment section
** 2007 AMA Expert Committee Recommendations on the Assessment, Prevention and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and
Obesity (Click on “New: Recommendations on the Treatment of Pediatric Obesity”
in the right hand column of web page for a PDF report).
Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP) Program
Children’s Medical Services, California Department of Health Care Services