Teen Concerned That She’s Underweight

By August 27, 2012

I am a 15 year old girl and am very curious to know if I’m underweight. I am 5’4 and about 110-113 pounds. I feel like I’m way too skinny but my mom tells me I look fine. If I am underweight can you please tell me ways to gain some weight? I really want to gain at least 10 more pounds. – D.

Dear D.,

In this weight-obsessed world we live in, it’s understandable that you want to be sure that your weight is okay. At first glance, it appears that your weight falls within the normal range, especially if you have a smaller frame. Also, girls your age mature and develop at different rates and times, so you may naturally start to put on more weight in the next few years. Don’t compare yourself with other girls because everyone is built so differently, and bodies mature in very different ways (and this is a wonderful thing–how boring it would be if we all looked alike!).

To tell if you are at a healthy weight, answer these questions. Have you recently lost weight? Are you having trouble with your appetite? Do you feel good and have plenty of energy? Are you eating well? If you’ve been losing weight and/or aren’t feeling well, then you should see your doctor for a physical. If you feel fine and have no problem eating, then you are at just the right weight for you at this point in time.

I know you want to gain weight, but don’t push for it if you are healthy otherwise. If you start to eat too much on purpose and ignore your body’s hunger and fullness signals, you’ll run the risk that you’ll gain too much weight for your body type, and possibly set yourself up for future eating and health problems. Be patient with yourself. Eat healthy, stay active and live well–and you will naturally be at the healthiest weight for your body type. Appreciate and take good care of your healthy body!