To print: Use your web browser's print feature. Close this window after printing.

Child Who Is Overweight: Medical Evaluation

Table of Contents


Doctors sometimes use the terms "overweight" or "at risk of overweight" to refer to children who weigh more than what is healthy for their height. Doctors use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts or the body mass index (BMI) to measure a child's weight compared to their height.

If you are concerned that your child is—or could become—overweight, talk about this with your child's doctor.

Medical and family history

Your doctor will ask about things such as:

Physical exam and tests

Your doctor will check for any health conditions that might have caused your child to gain weight. The doctor also will look for conditions such as depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder.

During a physical exam, your doctor will check your child's health and look for early signs of problems, including:

Your child also may have blood tests to look at problems with the adrenal glands and the thyroid. These tests look for the cause of being overweight as well as problems from being overweight.

Credits for Child Who Is Overweight: Medical Evaluation

Current as of: May 13, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff (
Clinical Review Board (
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

Note: The "printer friendly" document will not contain all the information available in the online document. Some information (e.g. cross-references to other topics, definitions or medical illustrations) is only available in the online version.

© 1995-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.