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Healthy Weight Center

Understanding Teenage Weight

03/11/2009

Question:

I weigh 41kgs I am 152cm tall and a 12 year old girl. Am I over weight?

Answer:

To judge whether or not you are at a healthy weight, health professionals' not only look at the scale but also use a growth chart. This chart compares your growth in height and weight over time (from birth). If you have consistently followed the same growth curve from birth, you are in a healthy range for your body type. Another tool we use is the body mass index or BMI (an estimate used to determine if a person may be at health risk due to their weight). In children, a BMI under the 5th percentile or over the 85th percentile indicates health concern. Since you stated that your height is 152 cm and you weigh 41 kg., I calculated your BMI using the on-line tool at http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/usefultools/l/bl_bmi_calc.htm. It calculated your BMI to be 17.7 (the 43rd percentile) which is considered a healthy weight.

If you have any concerns about your weight, it would be a good idea to have your parents take you to see the doctor for an evaluation; A visit with a registered dietitian would also be helpful. The dietitian will make sure that you take in enough calories to support your continuing growth and ensure that you are getting the proper nutrients you need (including protein, iron, and calcium for development of bone and lean tissue). It's also important to realize that some weight gain is natural around puberty and will correct itself over time.

If you visit the ChooseMyPlate.gov website, you can find a diet to meet your needs according to your age, gender, and activity level. Go to SuperTracker at ChooseMyPlate.gov. Remember to choose nutritious foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats, nuts) and limit the "junk foods" (chips, fried foods, pop, candy).

I hope this helps put things into perspective for you. Be sure to speak to your parents and doctor if you have any further concerns.

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Response by:

Jane   Korsberg, MS, RD, LD Jane Korsberg, MS, RD, LD
Senior Instructor of Nutrition
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University