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Thursday, December 5, 2013
Healthy Weight Center
Healthy Body Weight
I`m 13 years old and I`m 5`2. I weigh 115 pounds. I was wondering if that`s a healthy body weight for my age.
I can answer you by saying yes, you probably are at a healthy body weight. By looking at a child or adolescent's growth pattern over time (from birth), health professionals can evaluate if someone is growing properly and in a healthy weight range. In order to answer your question more accurately, it would be helpful to know if you are a girl or boy and to know more about you.
Since that information is not available to me, another tool that can be useful is the body mass index (BMI). When I checked yours using the on-line tool at http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/usefultools/l/bl_bmi_calc.htm, it said that your BMI indicates you are at a healthy weight (whether you are a girl or a boy). Your BMI is 21.1 (which is in the 75th percentile for girls and the 80th percentile for boys). So that's good news. The website also tells us to remember that a child (1) is considered to be overweight if he/she has a BMI over the 95th percentile for age or (2) is at risk of becoming overweight if he/she has a BMI between the 85th and 95th percentile for their age.
The aim of maintaining a healthy weight is to be active daily and eat a well-balanced diet, taking in enough calories to support your continuing growth. Remember to try not to fill up on "junk foods" (chips, fried foods, pop, candy); let your calories come from nutritious sources (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats, nuts) instead. If you visit the ChooseMyPlate.gov website, you can tailor a diet to meet your needs according to your age, gender, and activity level. Or you can go to the Healthy Weight Center at NetWellness.
I hope this answers your question.
Jane Korsberg, MS, RD, LD
Senior Instructor of Nutrition
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University