Statistics and Indicators

Body Mass Index categories - children


    BMI categories, 5-17 years, ACT General Health Survey, 2011-2020


    Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obesity. 

    BMI for children are categorised as underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese according to the international cut-offs for children developed by the International Obesity Taskforce: 

    In 2020, 62.6% of respondents to the ACT General Health Survey aged 5-17 years were in the healthy weight BMI category. 

    BMI is based on self-reported height and weight.

    Note: The indicator shows self-reported data collected through Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). Estimates were weighted to adjust for differences in the probability of selection among respondents and were benchmarked to the estimated residential population using the latest available Australian Bureau of Statistics population estimates.

    Responses for children aged 5-15 years were provided by the parent/carer who knows the most about the child's health. Persons includes male, female, other and refused sex respondents and may not always add to the sum of male and female.

    The following estimates have a relative standard error between 25% and 50% and should be used with caution:

    • 2013/14: obese females
    • 2015/16: obese males and obese females
    • 2018: underweight females, obese males, obese females

    Statistically significant differences are difficult to detect for smaller jurisdictions such as the Australian Capital Territory. Sometimes, even large apparent differences may not be statistically significant. This is particularly the case in breakdowns of small populations because the small sample size means that there is not enough power to identify even large differences as statistically significant.

    To access the data please click on the "View source data" link at the bottom of the visualisation. This link will open up a data table that you can download.