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FAQ's

We know that parents/carers often have thoughts and questions after receiving the height and weight results. Below you will find some answers to frequently asked questions.

How were these results decided?

The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) uses an age and gender specific centile for Body Mass Index (BMI). This is not the same as the BMI used for adults. The BMI Centile chart looks the same as the growth charts from your child’s ‘Red Book’. Children’s BMI centiles take into account that children and young people are still growing. It also allows for the differences in growth patterns between boys and girls.

The NCMP results place each child in one of 4 categories  - underweight, healthy weight, overweight, very overweight. Things like fitness, ethnic origin and puberty can make small differences to ‘body fatness’. Experts agree that measuring BMI (taking into account age and gender) is the most reliable way of measuring children and checking if their growth is in the healthy range.

  • Some parents feel the results do not match how they see their child’s size. Understandably this can make parents feel upset or even angry. It is not as easy as you might think for parents or health professionals to tell if a child is under or overweight just by looking at them.

    Across the UK more and more adults and children are not at a healthy weight - this can make it harder to see. We might well be comparing ourselves and our children with friends and family who are also overweight. The NCMP is important because it gives us a reliable measure of children’s growth. This means we can help children avoid the sometimes worrying outcomes of being under or overweight. If you really feel that your child’s results are wrong please call us – we are happy to explore this with you further.

  • ‘Puppy fat’ can be an early warning sign that children are becoming an unhealthy weight. Around 1 in 3 children who are overweight in Reception return to a healthy weight by Year 6. This means that by the end of primary school 2 in 3 children who are overweight in Reception remain overweight or become very overweight by Year 6.

  • Genes do play a role in influencing a child’s size and shape. However, it is not only genes which contribute to weight. Our family behaviours, situation and beliefs all make a difference to our health and well being. While parents/carers cannot control some of the factors that affect weight they can make a big difference to other things - like diet and activity for their families.

      

  • Some parents tell us they feel guilty or feel like they have ‘got it wrong’ for their child when they get the height and weight results. When your child is measured as over or underweight it is no ones fault. The reasons people gain too much or too little weight are complicated. Weight is something a lot of people struggle with.

    It is important that we share this information with you because growing at a healthy weight can make a big difference to your child’s future well being. Habits from childhood can last a lifetime. The good news is that as a parent you are in the best position to help your child. Making lifestyle changes now will help them to become a healthy weight as they grow. There is a lot of information and support to help you and your family achieve this together.

  • If you have other questions or worries you can call us on the contact details below. One of the team will be happy to try and answer your questions and help with any worries you or your child might have. 

Who Can Help?

If you are concerned about your child’s weight or eating habits and feel you need support then you can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.

Alternatively you can go to see your GP to discuss concerns.

*Click Here* to speak to other Norfolk parents and carers on our online community forum. 

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