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Normal Weight for a Teen

Updated February 21, 2017

Determining a normal weight for a teenager is not as simple as pulling a number off a chart. Because a teenager's body is constantly changing during puberty, there are several additional factors to consider before normal weight can be determined.

Body Mass Index

The body mass index, or BMI, calculates weight versus height of a person and gives a range of numbers considered healthy, overweight or obese. However, this calculation does not take into consideration the fact that muscle weighs more than fat, so an athletic teenager may have a BMI that appears unhealthy.

Additional Limitations

Because of puberty and the constant fluctuation it causes, the BMI for teenagers is based on additional factors such as gender and age. For teenagers, doctors define normal weight as a percentile of a sample, fiftieth percentile being average.

Call Your Doctor If You Have Any Concerns

Different body types may cause a teenager to appear more overweight than they really are. Take your teenager to a doctor if there are any concerns about his weight. Paediatricians see thousands of patients a year and are the best judge of normal.

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About the Author

Transplanted Yankee Erin Watson-Price lives in Birmingham, Ala., and has been writing freelance articles since 1997. She worked as writer/co-editor for Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue's newsletter, "The Long and the Short of It." In 2007 she obtained a certification as a copy editor. Watson-Price holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.