In children with disability, additional physical burden from obesity can result in loss of function and mobility. This retrospective study of 587 Australian children with cerebral palsy with a GMFCS I-III found BMI distribution similar to nondisabled peers (tending towards less obese). Of the obese children with CP, they were more likely to have lower function.

Deciding on an ideal weight in patients with cerebral palsy can be hard, especially depending on their needs (surgical, other concurrent conditions). For children with GMFCS I-III, knowing their BMI is similar to general population will help me set expectations with my families and counsel on weight management.

Kristie Malik, MD

Complex Care, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore

Pascoe J et al. Body Mass Index in Ambulatory Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Cohort Study. J Pediatr Child Health 2016 April. PMID