The Healthy Body Scorecard

There is a great deal of emphasis placed on Body Mass Index (BMI) as it pertains to health. BMI, while simple and quick as a screening tool, is not intended for individual health screening but rather as an indication of population risk. There are limitations to BMI: it does not take into account behavioral or environmental factors that contribute to health. BMI is especially limited as a screening tool in children as they are in a rapid state of growth and it can be difficult to appropriately place them in categories. Children with disabilities also experience unique limitations to the use of BMI as a screening tool due to abnormal body composition and problems obtaining accurate measures.

The Healthy Body Scorecard was developed to address the need for a screening tool for children that provides a context for the weight status of each child so that appropriate monitoring and treatment can be implemented. This Mitacs-funded internship began the development of a new health screening tool for children that is inclusive, easy to use and comprehensive, thereby addressing some of the noted limitations to the use of BMI.


This research has yielded several publications:

Patton, I., McPherson, A. (2013). Anthropometric measurement in children: A scoping review. Canadian Journal of Public Health.104(5): e369-e374.

Patton, I., McPherson, A. (2014). Understanding health screening practices among Canadian practitioners working with children with disabilities. Disability and Health Journal. 

Patton, I. McPherson, A. (2014). Development of a tool to support the health screening practice for Canadian children. Pediatrics and Child Health. 

To download the Healthy Body Scorecard deck from the 2014 Sandbox Project Conference, please click here