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A healthy calculation

Do you need to shape up?

This week, Need to Know correspondent Dr. Emily Senay reports on a wide-ranging initiative to combat childhood obesity. In order to determine the impact of the year-long experiment, students in Somerville, Mass., were tracked at the beginning and end of the school year.

Body mass index, or BMI, was one of the key measures used to evaluate the students’ level of physical fitness. The formula measures body weight relative to height, and is considered to be a good indicator of total body fat. The National Institutes of Health uses BMI to distinguish between normal weight, overweight, and obesity.

You can use the BMI calculator to measure your own BMI. Try this calculator to test your child’s BMI.