What's The Right Weight for Your Height

People have different body types. Some people who appear rather heavy, may actually weigh just right for their height. On the other hand some thin people are surprised to find that they weigh more than they appear to be. Knowing the right weight for one’s height is especially difficult to tell in teens. This is because people develop at a different rate.

It is possible to determine a healthy weight range for your height, though.

Puberty

Teens go through a period when they grow much faster – puberty. During puberty teens grow at a faster rate. This holds true for height, weight and muscle growth. Puberty lasts for a period for several years, growing as much as 10 inches before reaching full adult height.

As for weight, teens also gain it much more rapidly due to changing amounts of muscle, fat and bone. Weight gain is fine as long as it is in proportion to fat, muscle and bone. And since people develop at different rates (and ages. Some people start developing as early as eight. Others, as late as 15), two people who are the same age and height may have totally different weights.

Using BMI

BMI stands for body mass index. BMI is a formula developed and used by doctors to gauge how much body fat a person has, based on his or her weight and height.

The BMI formula uses your height and weight to compute for a BMI number. That number is then plotted on a chart which determines whether you are underweight, average weight, overweight or obese.

Since puberty makes it hard to determine the right BMI for teens, doctors use BMI charts with percentile lines so teens can compare their BMIs with their peers’. There are about 20 BMI charts for people under 20.

A teenager’s BMI number is plotted onto the chart for age and gender. BMIs at the 50th percentile is about average. Teens whose BMIs are at the 85th-95th percentile are considered overweight. BMIs beyond the 95th percentile are considered obese. On the other extreme, teens whose BMI is below the 5th percentile is considered underweight.

What BMI tells you

Though you can compute for your BMI by yourself, you should also have your doctor interpret its meaning. Your doctor can compare it with your previous records and see if you are at risk for becoming overweight. It’s important to know this early on so you and your doctor can create a diet and fitness plan for you to avoid developing this condition.

There’s more to obesity than just looking good in skinny jeans. Obese or overweight teens are at an increased risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure. Obese or overweight teens are likely to mature into obese or overweight adults. As obese adults, they are at serious risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease.

BMI may be a good indicator of body fat, but may not be always accurate. A person who has a high BMI do not necessarily have a lot of fat. Instead, he or she may simply have a large frame or a lot of muscle. On the other hand, a small person with a small frame could have a normal BMI but still have too much body fat. That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor.

Making sure about your weight

If you feel that you’re too heavy or too thin for your height and age, you should speak with your doctor about it. He or she can determine if you are growing normally or if you have a weight problem.

Your doctor may ask you about your eating habits, physical activities and overall health. Your doctor may also ask about your family background to find out if being underweight or overweight runs in your family, or if you inherited your height (too tall or short for your age), or a late bloomer. All of this information can help your doctor make a decision on whether you are growing normally or if you have a weight or growth problem.

If your doctor finds your weight is not within the healthy range, you will get a dietary and exercise recommendations based on your individual needs. Following your doctor’s recommendations can help you get to the normal weight better than any fad diet. Teenagers should not follow fad diets because they can affect growth and sexual development. Most fad diets are also ineffective.

For teens who think they’re too skinny. It’s likely that there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re probably just developing later than your peers and catch up with them, in terms of weight, by the time you finish puberty during your late teens.

In certain rare cases, teens are underweight due to a health problem. Once it’s treated, teens usually go to a healthy weight range. If you feel tired a lot, or if you feel ill and have symptoms like cough, diarrhea, stomach ache or other symptoms that you’ve had for over two weeks, you should tell your parents or your doctor. Some teens suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia that require medical attention.

Genetics

Your genes are major determinant of body shape, weight and height. Different races, ethnic groups or nationalities have different body fat distribution or body composition. It does not mean that you will end up with your mom’s not-quite Giselle Bundchen figure.

You can have a healthy body and keep your weight at a normal level by eating right and working out, despite suspect genes.

Before you heave a sigh of relief, remember that eating habits may be inherited too. The eating and workout habits of the people in your household may influence your risk of becoming overweight. So if dad enjoys high cholesterol foods and parking in front of the TV quite ofter, there’s a good chance that you’ll do the same. Again, it’s still in your power to change that and live healthier.