Measuring Height and Weight in Head Start Preschoolers: Suggestions for Best Practices


  • M. Elizabeth Miller Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
  • Dr. Stephanie Nicely


Body mass index, measurement, preschoolers, best practice


Measuring height and weight in preschool children is an important way to track their growth patterns and identify potential nutrition and health risks. Converting these measurements to a BMI-for-age percentile and tracking this over time, allows Head Start (HS) programs to help with preventing obesity in the early childhood years. These measurements also allow HS to evaluate obesity prevention programs implemented in HS programs. However, looking at height and weight measurements and the process used to measure children is important to assure accurate measurements. The purpose of this study was to examine the height and weight data at two time points in one program and explore the perceptions of health staff around the data collection process.  Best practices for measuring height and weight of HS preschoolers are discussed.

Author Biography

M. Elizabeth Miller, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio


Associate Professor of Nutrition in the Department of Kinesiology, Nutrition and Health at Miami University