category menu

Teenage Weight: When A Jump in Your Teen’s Weight May Not Be A Concern

This article on adolescent  pre-puberty weight gain is part of a series on teenage nutrition. You can read the beginning articles in the series here: “What Is On Your Family’s Breakfast Plate” and “Teenage Nutrition: Why You Should Pick This Battle For Your Adolescent.” We are very excited to bring you this and hope you feel comfortable to add your own thoughts, tips and suggestions. If you want to read more on teenage  and general nutrition, please subscribe here to our newsletter and article updates.

Preteen and teenage weight gain: what can you expect?

During the preteen and teenage stages there are significant physical changes, including increased weight gain to help support height and physical growth. Some statistics:

  • Children gain on average between 30-40 pounds (13.5-18.0 kilograms) between age 11-14.
  • A child can gain 20 pounds (9 kilograms) or more in one year.
  • Girls gain weight first as a layer of fat all over the body and then more around breast, hip and thighs.
  • Girls appear “fat” before curves appear.
  • To support large increases in height and weight your preteen and teenager will be hungrier, will eat more and need to sleep more.
  • Weight gain during puberty accounts for about half of their adult ideal weight.

Weight gain in teens in normal and supports large growth period

It can be a concern to see your preteen or young teenager blossom in places, particularly when they have always been a lean child. Their weight gain is part of a transformation in physical growth and supports your teen’s increase in height. As an adolescent’s growth velocity (speed) increases, they physically begin to thin out and the weight gain is adjusted on their bodies.

Statistics on teenage height growth patterns:

  • The beginning of growth velocity is approximately 9 years old for girls and 11 years old for boys.
  • The growth spurt lasts 2-3 years.
  • Growth in height and weight occurs 1 1/2 to 2 years earlier for girls than boys.
  • On average, the peak in height growth is 11.5 years for girls and 13.5 years for boys.

If your teenage growth pattern is normal, why parents shouldn’t worry about weight gain during preteen and early teen years:

If your child suddenly gains more weight than you have seen them carry before, do not begin to panic. Normally, a larger weight gain is part of natural growth during preteen and early teen years. Worrying parents, in particular mothers with their daughters, can put unnecessary pressure on their teenager’s eating habits.

These are typical reactions from concerned parents who are worrying about their teen’s weight:

  • Talking to your teen too much about their eating habits
  • Encouraging them to eat less
  • Making comments such as “do you really need to eat this?” or “you are getting a little hefty”
  • Using food as a reward or bribe
  • Having your child weigh themselves on a regular basis

These comments and actions can be damaging to a teenager’s self esteem, hurting their perception of their body and weight image and can lead to more eating problems.

The critical reasons we need to be careful with the weight and body image words we say to our kids:

With an estimated half a million teens in America with eating disorders, we need to be aware that the comments and looks we give to our kids and their eating habits and body image can have long-lasting effects.

Is there a time when we should be concerned with a teenager’s weight issues?

There are two times:  if a teenager loses or gains a significant amount of weight during a short period of time. If a child is overweight or obese before puberty, education on healthy eating is a critical part of a teen having a successful body image. A child should never be put on a diet, but support for teen on good food choices and physical activity can help a child potentially make their ideal weight during teenage years. If your teenager gains a lot of weight during their preteen or teen growth period but does not thin out or stay weight stable, this is a signal that they may have a potential overweight issue. If at the end of your teen’s growth period, approximately 13-14 years old for girls, and 15-16 years old for boys, your child is overweight, it is best to seek a health professional’s advice on getting your teen on track with a healthier weight.

Here are some articles published from this series on teenage nutrition. Feel free to click on the links here:

Teenagers and Energy Drinks, Teens and Endocrine Disruptors, Teens and Eating Disorders, Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Teens, Teens and Caffeine, Importance of Good Nutrition in Teens, Vitamin and Mineral Supplements in Teens,Vegetarianism in Teens. and Hormone Changes in Teens Affect Their Smell.

If you like what you have read here, I would greatly appreciate you sharing it. It may help the next person who is worried about their teen’s weight. Or if you have reached the end and want to read more articles on teens or general health please subscribe to our monthly newsletter and regular article updates. By subscribing you will get your free E-report on  “10 Simple Ways to Eat Like the French Without Having the Food Snob Attitude”. You can join us by clicking on the button below.

subscribe to our newsletter


Wishing you success with your teen. If you have any questions please leave some feedback in the comment section or via email at :

Statistics for this article were taken from Adolescent Health Curriculum.


Share ThisPin on Pinterest2Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn0Share on Facebook158Share on Tumblr0Share on Reddit0Email this to someoneShare on Google+0

, , , , ,

134 Responses to Teenage Weight: When A Jump in Your Teen’s Weight May Not Be A Concern

  1. Rebecca December 30, 2017 at 14:59 #

    Hi my Name is Rebecca I am 17 years old and I will be turning 18 on February 3 in 2018. My height is 5.6 and my weight is in a little bit of trouble. I weighed myself a couple weeks ago and I can not figure out why I am still not gaining. My weight is 107.8 lb. My body is built for swimming, long and thin. I do not swim at all. I want to become a Professional Barrel Racer and I am more country than a swimmer.

    Can you help me please or give me a little bit of advice. Thank you so much.

    • mbrighton January 4, 2018 at 10:14 #

      Dear Rebecca,
      Thanks for your question. I understand your concerns about your lack of weight gain. Some people and maybe this includes you, have difficulty gaining weight because of their morphism (body type). Are one of your parents thin too? What I could recommend is to do more weight bearing /weight resistance exercises (lifting weights) and to add some lean protein to your diet (eggs, chicken breast, greek yogurt). You might still be growing and are using those extra calories you eat for your development (height) and not for increasing your muscle mass. Let me know if you have any questions. Warmly, Mary

  2. Brenda December 12, 2017 at 02:37 #

    Hi Mary, thanks for the great article. I’m 19 and have gained about 40 lbs in the past 12 months. I am 4’11”, and around this time last year i clearly remember being around 120-125 lbs. I have noticed that my hair is falling out excessively, my nails are brittle, i have very dry skin + ezcema. I am currently on medication to control my hypothyroidism. I have also had episodes of depressive thoughts/mood, which has been prevalent in the past couple of months. I don’t have the most nutritious diet, but i try to eat moderately. I also feel tired more days out of the week than i don’t. I am wondering if these symptoms are due to an underlying condition, or simply because i have to watch what i eat more. Thanks.

  3. Karen November 24, 2017 at 12:39 #

    Hi thank you so much for this article. I am 15 and around 5’7.5 weighing 127lbs. I’ve always been pretty slim with occasional weight gains, but the growth spur evened it out. I believe my growth spur is over, though I still grow here and there. However, recently I joined my hight school swim team and we practiced everyday for 2 hours. During swim season I ate a lot but still maintained a healthy weight. Now that swim season is over, I find myself still eating the same amount, but I have no way of burning it off. I ended the season weighing 123, but I gained 4 pounds the past month and a half. Is this OK? Or should I be more careful with my food intake? Thank you so much.

  4. Ameria November 20, 2017 at 20:05 #

    Hi, I am 14 years old and I am 5’4 and weigh 198. However, I do not look how much i weigh. I mean I am slightly chubby but my weight isn’t uncomfortable, but I am concerned. I am a cheerleader and has been one for 2-3 years. My diet isn’t the best, but I have made changes and well i am still continuosly gaining weight. I picked up 50lbs within a year. What can I do?
    Ameria recently posted..Beet and Boursin Verrine -A French Aperitif Inspiration

  5. Amu November 9, 2017 at 20:22 #

    Hi I am 27 years old and i weight 40kg which sucks and i feel so weak and sick everyday.. My problem is i am afraid of doctors and medicins and side effects.. Please tell me if i can take kids multivitimns and weight gain syrup will that work for me 🙁 Am really worried about my health at this age of 27 n weight 40 kg sucks… I wana gain alot.. be strong..

  6. Nichelle November 7, 2017 at 03:51 #

    Hi, i’m 13 years old turning 14 years old on Dec 17. I am about 147 height and about 34 weight. I always eat but not gets fat im so thin. Give me some informations thanks

  7. Kat November 5, 2017 at 20:03 #

    I’m a female 12 almost 13 and weigh 120 I have not got my period but I think I will soon am I overweight? I gained like 10 lbs really fast around 5 months ago I was 110 lbs now 120? Is that normal

    • mbrighton November 6, 2017 at 22:05 #

      Hi Kat! This is completely normal. Don’t worry. Warmly, Mary

  8. Kaitlyn October 11, 2017 at 02:25 #

    Hi I’m 13 (Birthday in 6 months) and I weigh 66.7 Kg. Am I over weight? I’m about 5’3 and I don’t have much hip but my bra size was a double D last year (Though I’m not sure now we haven’t measured in a while but I don’t fit the bra’s I had last year.) I was chubbier last year but last year my Mom said I was looking a little chubby and that’s ok but when I saw her again over the summer she said I looked a lot skinnier? But it’s not showing on the scale. I generally eat good and have 3 meals a day and one snack and desert about 3 times a month. I’m trying to give as much information as I can so you can tell me if I am really over weight. I am online often but I go out and do things almost every day of the week. My Grandparents are being super supportive but I keep feeling like I am gaining more and more weight. The scale varies from 140 lb to 147 frequently and I’m not sure why. I really want to know if I will be skinnier when I get older or not and I’m worried I’m just going to get heavier.. Please help!

    • mbrighton October 22, 2017 at 23:35 #

      Hi Kaityn, Thanks for reaching out and apologies for not responding sooner. For teenage girls, 13 is an age where normally you are still growing in height, thus weight follows this pattern too. It is difficult for me to judge whether you are overweight because there is muscle and breast tissue that can weigh heavier and the person is not overweight despite what the scale says. It sounds like you have some good eating habits and I support you also to also add some regular exercise in your schedule. Stay positive, you are on the right track. Get back in touch with me when you are 14 and let me know how things are going and your weight and height at this point. Warmly, Mary

  9. Anna October 9, 2017 at 07:45 #

    Hi, i am an asian girl. I am 12 yrs old and i a 157cm. I was 147 cm in grade 5. Will i grow more? My mother is 1 inche taller than me and my father is 3 inches taller than me. I will turn 13 on june 27, 2018

    • mbrighton October 9, 2017 at 15:02 #

      Dear Anna, You are 12 years old and normally you will grow more, however if you are worried about your height, please ask your doctor next time you have a physical. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me. Warmly, Mary

  10. Nayia August 15, 2017 at 06:57 #

    Hi, I’m 13 turning 14 next January and I always been very skinny. I am 5’1” and 106 lbs. My family on both sides are both are very curvy. And I do eat a lot, but I just don’t gain any weight. Last year I was 95 lbs and in june became 106 lb and never gain any weight since. My younger sister who is 9 is 100 pounds and I was wondering if I was “normal” or would I gain any more weight?

  11. Dyemolink July 29, 2017 at 15:14 #

    Hi. I am a Asian girl I’m eleven this year. I’m 145cm and weigh 40.5 kg is it okay? Can you explain something to me, ever since I was young I always had a belly that sticks out. I’m going through puberty now but my stomach still sticks out. May you tell me the reason for this and when I will lose it. One more question, do girls lose weight before they become a teenager because brother did.

    • mbrighton July 30, 2017 at 04:40 #

      Dear Dyemolink, Your height and weight sound ok to me. Everyone’s body is different, maybe this is why you feel your stomach sticks out? Sometimes you never lose your stomach, even if you are underweight and this is ok too. Normally girls gain weight before they become a teenager to support their big growth. I hope this answers your questions? Please let me know if you have any other questions. Warmly, Mary

  12. Nat July 4, 2017 at 17:27 #

    Hi, my daughter 12 and she is 165 cm tall and weight 75kg. Can you please advise if that normal?

    • mbrighton July 10, 2017 at 09:13 #

      Hi Nat, I think your question is by ‘normal’ is to ask if her weight is normal. Her BMI is just above 27.0 which puts her as overweight. Teenagers shouldn’t be on a restrictive eating diet, but by keeping things in check at 12 years old (include a visit to a dietitian) could help her ‘grow into her weight’. Hope this is helpful. Warmly, Mary

  13. Lara June 19, 2017 at 07:09 #

    Hi Mary,
    Thank you for this article. It is really reassuring to me and describes what is probably happening with my daughter. She just turned 11 and is starting to develop breasts and hips. Until age 9.5 to 10 she was always lean- 25th-40th percentile for weight and 50th-75th for height. At the moment she is still about 50th percentile for height (has stayed steady on that growth curve on the CDC/WHO chart) and around the 70th for weight (has jumped up sharply). She is now 4 foot 9 and 92 pounds. I think this is still an acceptable weight for her but it has been jarring to see her gain almost 20 pounds in just over a year!
    I’m sure it is normal to gain weight prior to the growth spurt, but is it normal for a girl this age to suddenly deviate so much from their usual growth curve trajectory?

    • mbrighton June 19, 2017 at 14:56 #

      Hi Lara, Thanks for your question about your daughter. I understand your concern and you are correct to keep an eye on it. Two things to think about: look at her BMI a year ago and her BMI now. BMI is calculated by her height in square meters divided by her weight in kilograms. This is a better indication of whether she has gained too much over the last year. Most likely there is nothing to worry about and I suggest keeping a eye on her without making any comments or weighing her. When doctors and dietitians look at the growth curve for children, if the child has changed more than two lines on the chart in the last 6 months (going up or down) this is a ‘alert’ to further investigate what might be happening. She is probably starting to gain a bit more weight to support her up coming height growth, and this is not to worry about. If the height and weight measurements you gave were from the doctor, do them again at home and re-measure in 6 months and then a year. In the meantime, try not to worry! Hope this is clear, let me know if you have any other questions. Warmly, Mary

    • Emily June 26, 2017 at 03:02 #

      Hi Lara, I have a 14 year old daughter who is very acrtice and athletic and has always been in great shape, & height/weight was always proportional etc…until the last 6 -8 weeks. She appears to have put on @ 10-15 lbs, and grown about 1 inch taller in this short period of time. Her activity level hasn’t been reduced, however I noticed that she was increasingly hungry towards the end of the school year and continues to be so. I can tell she’s self conscious about her clothes not fitting properly. Should I be concerned?

    • mbrighton June 27, 2017 at 09:36 #

      Hi Emily,
      I wouldn’t be concerned about your daughter’s increase in height and weight, she may be growing later than the typical age. See how things are going in 3-4 months from now and encourage her to stay active. Is she off of school for the summer or do you live in the Southern Hemisphere where it is colder? If she has summer off and you are in warmer weather, this is the time to keep 14year olds active, if possible, and off of their screens. Good luck and don’t worry….

  14. Leanna June 5, 2017 at 04:40 #

    My daughter has a normal weight since she was small, but during these few years(11-15now), her weight has increased from 40kg to 58kg. Is it okay for a teen girl to have a weight of 58kg (15yrs old). Her thigh fat is so thick but other body parts is normal. Im concerned abt this.

    • mbrighton June 5, 2017 at 17:48 #

      Hi Leanna, thank you for your question. What is your daughter’s height? If she is tall -58 kilograms is fine. I understand your concern, but try not to express this in front of your daughter. Take her out for a long walk, encourage her to stay active and plan some healthy meals for her. If you have any additional questions, please let me know. Mary

  15. katie April 5, 2017 at 06:03 #

    Hi, my name is katie and I am 15 years old. I am 5’8.5″ and I weighed about 125 lbs. Over the last couple of weeks I have put on 15 lbs. I work out everyday and eat a very healthy diet of about 1500 calories a day. Is this a growth spurt, or other issues? thank you.

    • mbrighton April 6, 2017 at 09:22 #

      Hi Katie, Thanks for your comment. Your height and weight are very healthy! Two comments I could make: 1500 calories is not enough for you, given that you are 15 years old, working out daily and still growing. Are you trying not to gain weight? You need more calories….Also, to gain 15 pounds in a short period of time is not usual, do you feel well? I am not sure why you would gain this amount in only a few weeks. Let me know if you have any further questions, here to answer them. Warmly, Mary

  16. Karin March 20, 2017 at 19:47 #

    Dear Mary,

    I am getting a little concerned about my daughter’s weight. She is almost 10 and weighs about 85 pounds. She is 4 feet 11.5 inches tall. I am average height but my husband is 6’5″. Lately my daughter has been putting the weight on in her torso… I know she is supposed to be a tall adult, and we eat very healthy, but the weight gain still worries me. I have not said anything to her about this weight gain and she swims alot, so she stays active. Is she just storing extra weight for her growth spurt?

    • mbrighton March 21, 2017 at 14:27 #

      Dear Karin, All this sounds normal for me. She is almost 5 feet tall and not even 10 years old yet. Girls this age gain weight around their torso and face and this helps support their large height spurt, this seems like what is happening to her. Also, swimming is a sport that is excellent for kids, but is a sport that you build muscle and strength in the upper body, it isn’t a sport like cross country where you run and are more lean. I hope this answers your question, and keep track of how she is doing over the next year or two without making comments 🙂 . Your husband is very tall, perhaps she is taking after him, this is what is seems like to me. Keep the meals balanced, her active and be strict on not snacking too much between meals + drinking water as the main drink. Things should be fine. Let me know if you have any other questions, Warmly, Mary

  17. Mandy March 9, 2017 at 03:42 #

    I’m concerned about my daughter. She is 11, turning 12 in November and is 5,1. She is going through puberty and has already started her period. My only issue is that she weighs 126 pounds. I know that muscle weighs more than fat and she’s a strong girl, I’m just a little worried since she’s a little chubby around the torso and thighs. Is this normal for girls in her situation?

    Thank you, Mandy

    • mbrighton March 9, 2017 at 11:13 #

      Dear Mandy, Everything sounds normal to me…. However, what should happen is that your daughter will ‘grow’ into her body, that means that her weight will not increase too much in the next months while her height will. It is something to monitor (discreetly) with your daughter. See how her height and weight are in 6 months…warmly, Mary

  18. Brooke January 29, 2017 at 17:24 #

    Hi my name is Brooke, and I am 14 years old. I am just over 5’2 and I am in the 35 percentile for height, but let’s just say I’m under the 20th for weight, after eating a big lunch before getting weighed, and after the holidays. I gained 15 pounds and grew 3 inches in a year because I finally hit my growth spurt. Anyway, I am very active and muscular in the arms from gymnastics, but built very skinny. Should I be concerned about my weight? I eat a lot, and exercise lots. I think I am just built skinny. I have a twin fraternal twin sister who is in the 90th percentile for both weight and height. My family is not built particularly skinny, but they’re also taller. Should I be concerned ?

  19. jane January 27, 2017 at 04:19 #

    hi i’m jane! when i was 15, i weighted 130 lbs at 5’8. over the summer, i grew an inch and lost 10 pounds. then by fall, i had lost more weight which put me at 104 lbs at 5’9. i lost a lot of weight cause i was busy with sports and school and often forgot to eat. i lost my period and maintained this weight for quite a bit, but when i turned 16, my appetite significantly increased and the pounds started piling on. by age 17, i was 150 lbs. luckily my period has returned and is regular and my boobs and butt have grown. although this weight is healthy, i carry a lot of it in my stomach and find it hard at this age to feel confident. i go to college next year with a fear of the freshman 15. i’m wondering, what’s the safest way to lose 10 pounds at my age and due to what my body has been through?

    • mbrighton January 30, 2017 at 12:05 #

      Dear Jane, Thanks for your message and question. It seems that you have had a lot of Yo-yo weight fluctuations in the last 2 years and what worries me is your weight in the fall when you were 15 years old , weighing 104 lbs at 5’9″ (which you know is too thin). I am happy your weight is back to a more normal weight. In college there are wellness programs, gyms and healthy eating support. I understand your apprehension on not wanting to gain the Freshman 15, so I could recommend that you set up a schedule at college where you are having regular workouts/exercise scheduled with your classes. You could also visit the health center on campus and ask to speak with a dietitian that can help you stay on track with a healthy eating plan. At 18 years old, you are still growing, although not so much in height, but your brain in continuing to develop and finish maturing. This is one of the main reasons going on a ‘crash’ diet at your age is not recommended. It also sounds that you are not very confident in your body shape at the moment. Losing weight isn’t always the answer to ‘fix’ this. I encourage you to do some type of relaxing body exercises like yoga, pilates -which can help get in touch with your body better and accept your body shape. I know these are not perhaps the answers you want to hear. Good luck, stay active, eat regular healthy meals and hopefully you will find confidence in your body, especially if have a healthy mind. Let me know how things are going, warmly, Mary

  20. worried mom December 30, 2016 at 18:17 #

    I am concerned about my son who will be 13 in May. He is 4′ 11 3/4″ tall and his weight fluctuates between 76 & 79 pounds. His BMI has consistently stayed around 10-15% and always checks healthy at his well child visits, but in the past year his weight has remained the same and he only grew about an inch. I’ve been so worried since the growth charts are going up and he’s flattened out. I make sure he eats 3 balanced meals and there are always snacks available and I’ve been making him high calorie shakes, but he doesn’t gain an ounce. I’ve asked his Dr about his weight, but he says he’s following his growth curve and that he’s healthy. But he’s so thin! I was super skinny as a teen being 5’5″ and only 98 pounds and couldn’t gain weight no matter how hard I tried, but I don’t want him to go through the struggles I did. I’m hoping and praying his BMI goes up once he hits puberty. Any suggestions? I know I’m driving him nuts constantly bugging him about eating, but I’m so worried.

    • mbrighton January 4, 2017 at 10:39 #

      Dear worried mom, I plugged in your son’s height, weight and BMI on the growth chart and he is normal. Yes, he is thin, but as you were thin as a child this might be what will happen to your son. No worries, being thin is not a bad thing, on the contrary, if he is eating well and moving along the growth charts in a regular pattern, then this is better than being overweight. Try to take deep breaths and not ‘bug’ (as you said) your son about his eating, he might develop some worries himself. As your doctor said, your son is following the growth chart and is healthy and you are doing the 100% positive thing by providing 3 balanced meals and having snacks available. He probably doesn’t need the high calorie shakes right now unless he doing a lot of sport and is super hungry? High calorie shakes can stop hunger from eating those nice balanced meals you make. Most likely he hasn’t started his big growth spurt yet, this happens for boys around the age of 13…You’ll know when he gets there because he will be very hungry and needing to sleep more. At this point he might benefit from high calorie shakes if he really cannot get filled from his regular meals and he asks for them. This big growth spurt can last a long year, but it will level off around 15-16 years old in boys. (while they still grow at that age, it is not as fast). You mentioned that you went thru struggles when you were young for being super skinny-what were these struggles? Your son may not have any issues for being thin, you may want to ask yourself what happened to cause you problems being skinny? Was it that your clothes didn’t fit well? Feeling comfortable in a body is possible, whatever size we are. Deep breaths-your son is doing fine. Keep providing him with good meals and healthy snacks, slow down on the comments about his eating and all will be fine. Let me know if you have any other questions. Warmly, Mary

  21. Hailey December 29, 2016 at 09:12 #

    Hi, I a, Hailey. I am an 11 year old girl and I am very concerned about my weight and height. I am quite short for my age, 4’7 1/2, but I’m not exactly light. My weight is 90 pounds and I am extremely worried whether or not I am healthy. My family has a strict -no junk food rule-. I excercie about 45 minutes, 5 times a week. In only one year I gained about 6-7 pounds. It may not be a lot but it can get me from ok to worried. My mom has a diet where she has to reduce her carb intake because she has gestational diabetes. We have switched to brown rice and more organic things. We try to stay away from processed foods. We have started eating more healthy but eating greens are hard for me. How can I make greens a regular part of my diet?

    Thank you, Hailey
    Hailey recently posted..Baked Belgium Endive Milano Style

    • mbrighton December 30, 2016 at 14:01 #

      Dear Hailey, thank you very much for your question and contacting me. No need to worry, it is normal at your age to gain weight quickly like this. Your weight and your healthy eating sound perfect to me. If your mom has gestational diabetes she must be pregnant , right? This is normal for her to watch her carbohydrate intake so that her blood sugars stay within normal ranges. One way to eat greens are having a daily salad, with oil and vinegar, so you think you could eat this? Another way to add greens to your diet is to add a sauce to them, which makes them tastier. As you get older you will like greens better. Let me know if you have any other questions, I can answer them. Warmly, Mary

  22. ASWAN December 28, 2016 at 21:14 #

    Hello, My 16 year old daughter has gained 39 pounds within the last 15 months and due to this, we took her to her Pediatrician, who did blood work for thyroid issues, etc. This really confused us as my daughter is extremely active in club and high school volleyball and has an aerobics class four times a week at school. She also does not eat fried foods or candy, eats a healthy diet and has been seeing a nutritionist for the last few months, which currently only maintains her current weight of 179 pounds. The nutritionist felt it might be a growth spurt, but according to her Pediatrician she does not believe my daughter will grow much taller. She is 5’8″ currently and started her period very late, at 14. My daughter has been referred to an Endocrinologist, who we cannot get into until June, as well as a Cardiologist due to her high cholesterol, which my Pediatrician believes might be hereditary. I guess my question is, is weight gain at this rate possibly due to a growth spurt and if not, do some kids just have a metabolism issue in which they need to eat less and burn more calories than other kids?

    • mbrighton December 30, 2016 at 14:13 #

      Hello ASWAN, thanks very much for your comment. Your daughter has a perplexing situation. I would say that her growth spurt is over and her weight gain is due to other issues. I have seen girls around her age suddenly gain some (unwanted) weight, primarily due to growth spurt ending and teenagers overeating, but she has gained quite a bit of weight. Good idea to have her looked at by other specialists. One situation to consider, that happens, because I have seen it by counseling and listening to teenagers, is that some teens hide food and eat or overeat outside the home and it can be a type of ‘disordered eating.’ I am not saying that your daughter is doing this, it is only to keep an eye on what she is eating, not to pinpoint it to her though, but to observe and tell the endocrinologist if you see something out of ‘normal’ eating. And yes, some children and adults can have a slow metabolism and gain weight much more easily than others. Scientists are working on why this happens. Let me know if you have any other questions. I wish you luck for your daughter, to find out what is going on. Warmly, Mary

  23. moriah December 10, 2016 at 01:49 #

    I’m 12 years old and I was wondering if there was a way to lose some weight I weigh 170lb
    And I’m 5’4. My doctor says im overweight but it is normal for my health history.
    I get plenty of excessive and I’m in band I don’t eat a lot a junk food and I rarely have sweets. I usually don’t eat lunch. Do you have any weight loss suggestions?

    • mbrighton December 12, 2016 at 12:11 #

      Hi Moriah, I could recommend that you try to drink only water for your main beverage and eat lunch. (Why don’t you eat lunch? Do you eat a late breakfast?) Eating regular meals at regular times helps to not snack excessively (are you snacking in the afternoon?) and to eat more healthy. Your age (12 years old) means that you still have some growing to do, so the good news is that by making some small changes you can ‘grow into your body’. You shouldn’t diet but try to keep regular exercise going. Good job that you don’t eat a lot of junk food. You are in a band? Fantastic! I hope this few suggestions are helpful and let me know if you have any other questions. Warmly, Mary

  24. Dee November 29, 2016 at 10:19 #

    I am also a concerned parent of a 12 year old girl. She has already started her period. She is very tall about 5’5 1/2 . Her weight gain is increasing rapidly. The doctors had pinged this out to me. She is now 176lbs. She wears a size 9 woman shoe size. I am going to have her thyroid check. She is currently worried about her weight. I hate to talk about weight with her but I feel it is necessary to start her with clean eating and excercising . She hates sports and I’m just exhausted thinking about starting it. I really don’t want to lower of esteem but we have to start now. Your advice.? I know my daughter will be tall as well.

    • mbrighton December 1, 2016 at 12:07 #

      Dear Dee,Thanks for your question and comment. Talking to our kids about their weight and bodies are often difficult subjects. And you are right to be concerned to approach the subject with apprehension and wanting to say and do the right thing. It does sound like your daughter is headed to be tall, already with a size 9 foot. For teenagers we (dietitians) don’t encourage dieting or being on a strict diet. We do encourage the basics: exercise, healthy eating, less snacking and high sugared foods and drinks. The good news is that your daughter is young and with a good encouragement and support for her in the exercise area, she can continue to grow tall without adding extra weight. This will help her grow into her tall body. I think the best way to keep her on track is by using a ‘family goal approach.’ This means that you will ‘show’ the example by getting her out for a bike ride, walking, swimming. Getting her involved in meal planning, picking out healthy food options at the supermarket, having her cook some meals with your help. With her body changing now in puberty, you dont need to discuss weight, the emphasis can be on ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ and involving her to set up some objectives for this. There might even be some lessons done at school in this area that you can use as a support. With the holidays in full swing, including the New Year 2017 coming up, these are good opportunities to make resolutions for you and her, healthy goals that you will do together. Yes, her weight in on the higher side, and needs to be monitored, but with good objectives, not focusing on weight, should help her grow into her tall body. I hope this is helpful, there is no magic answer. Please let me know if you have further questions.Warmly, Mary

  25. Jake November 28, 2016 at 03:55 #

    Hi im Jake Age 14 In April i weighed 116 now in november i weigh 135 i grew from 5’5 to 5’8 should i worry or is it just because my growth spurt.

    • mbrighton November 28, 2016 at 11:13 #

      Hi Jake ! Everything sounds fine! You are growing a lot and you need that extra weight to support this. Keep going ! Let me know if you have any other questions. Warmly, Mary

  26. Tokunbo November 26, 2016 at 09:01 #

    Hi! I’m a 15 year old girl, 5’10 and I weigh 165 pounds. I don’t know if this is healthy or not but being honest I’m not very active my parents are quite worried because when I was 14 and 5’9 I weighed 147 pounds. Am I fine?

    • mbrighton November 28, 2016 at 11:12 #

      Dear Tokunbo, Why are your parents worried? You are fine. But you answered your question about the main point: you are not very active. I could suggest getting more physical activity in your daily life (30=60 mins a day) and this should help to stay weight stable. Warmly, Mary

  27. Hannah November 15, 2016 at 20:28 #

    Hi! I’m a female, 5’3, and the last time I weighedd myself I weighed 125 pounds. I have a pretty small bone structure. My mom is 5’7 and about 120 pounds and has always been slim. My dad also is super skinny for being 5’10 and he is around 130 pounds. Both my grandmas are on the shorter side and both my grandfathers were taller. My aunt is really petite and my uncle/cousins are super tall.
    I started puberty at around 8 or 9 and I got my period at 11 and then didn’t get it again until I was almost twelve. I’m turning 16 in two months. I think I started putting on weight at around 11/12 and that’s when I started to notice that I have a litle bit of a stomach/ my thighs getting a little bigger/curvier, etc.
    My little sister and I have never been overweight or cubby growing up, we were always pretty normal. At 12 I was around 100-105 pounds I think and I was very active. I went through some hard medical times and had to go on immune suppressent drugs for a while when I was 13, and I lost some weight due to medical reasons and suffered from being very very anemic and had many mineral/vitamin defienices. I also lost my period for about six months.
    However I gained it back and am much better now and stayed at about 134- 135 pounds for a while. Then this summer I noticed that I was up to 141-142 pounds due to summer vacations and weird eating times, etc. So I sorta freaked out and started barely eating anything, like 300-600 calories a day. And counting my calories on an app etc. My mom and younger sister naturally became concerned about me.
    I was weighing myself everyday, etc and felt super bad about myself when I would eat, like I didn’t have any self control. I went from 141 to 120 within about one and a half months. Which I realized was mostly water weight anyway. I decided that I couldn’t eat like that anymore and that I was really worrying my family. So I’ve bascially gone back to my normal eating patterns and now I am back at 125 and my bmi is 22. Luckily I was able to stop eating that way before I became too serious.
    My family eats very very healthy. We never have fast food/processed frozen food. We rarely eat red meat and sugar. We eat a ton of veggies, chicken, fish, kimchi, korean things, fruit, etc. We also eat organic, grassfed, non gmo, etc, and no pop/soda and sugary drinks. I don’t eat any sweets, or processed sugar and I don’t really eat honey, maple syrup etc. I also do not have milk/butter and cheese. I also don’t have fried foods/super salty things and try to keep my oils and salt to a limited amount. I only drink soy/almond milk and I do have eggs. I do not snack between meals, don’t stuff myself, and only eat till I am satisfied.
    I also try to work out a few times a week, (elliptical, bike riding, walking, playing tennis, jogging outside.” I would like to work out a little more, but I try to be as active as I can.
    I’m just really struggling with my body. I hate the way it looks and all my fat is around my ribs/stomach area. I don’t have rolls, but it’s like a solid layer of fat. And my hip/butt area has alot of fat on it. I recently had an extra on my hand and they said that my growth plates in my hand had fused so I am bascially done growing. I recently had bloodwork/vitamins levels tested and I am fine in that area. I stopped growing at around 12-13. I do however have super small wrists/feet, no double chine, and I can also see/feel my collarbone, if that means anything. So am I normal? And how come I’m not losing any weight if I already very healthy and try to stay active? And how should I go about losing weight in a healthy way? I’d like to get down to about 110-111 pounds if possible since I am pretty short. I am definetly commited to being displined on my diet/exercise. Do you think that I will grow anymore? And do you think that I will ever lose this unwanted fat on my hips/stomach area once I get older? I would really appreciate your imput on these things. Thanks so much:)

    • mbrighton November 28, 2016 at 11:08 #

      Dear Hannah, Thank you so much for your personal story, your questions and comment. I will try my best to answer them, but as you know I can answer as I see what you write, not face to face, which is better. I also apologize for the delay in answering. You asked me: So am I normal? And how come I’m not losing any weight if I already very healthy and try to stay active? And how should I go about losing weight in a healthy way? I’d like to get down to about 110-111 pounds if possible since I am pretty short. I am definetly commited to being displined on my diet/exercise. Do you think that I will grow anymore? And do you think that I will ever lose this unwanted fat on my hips/stomach area once I get older? I
      Yes, you are normal -in the sense that everyone is different and what you experiencing with your body is normal. Your weight is in a good range and you are doing the right thing: eating well and exercising. You are not overweight. However, it seems that your medical emergency —when you were 13 and were on immune suppressants, along with weight gain may have caused you some worries with your weight. I am not a psychologist, but reading your history of not eating enough calories and being over controlling with your weight, plus not liking your body signals to me that you might benefit from speaking to a third person trained in helping teens with their body image. You could also start this conversation with a registered dietitian nutritionist or a doctor that you feel comfortable with. Why you are not losing weight despite your efforts isn’t something easy to answer for anyone without looking more closely at your eating, your medical history and physical activity. However, as I said, you are in a good weight range and I think that you don’t feel comfortable in your body-no matter what the weight is? (is this true?) For growing more, you said that the doctors confirmed your growth plates are fused-this means that you are on the end of your growth, perhaps you will grow a small amount more, but not much. Again-the person to ask this better is your doctor who can tell you more definitely this answer. And the last question is whether you will lose the unwanted fat on stomach and hips area once you get older. Yes, Hannah-keeps going as you are doing—eating well and exercising , especially staying away from sugary drinks and snacks and there is no reason why you will not have a fit body that you can feel good in. But everyone is different and you may still, even as you are older have some fat and cellulite on your hips. This is normal, this is how women’s bodies are…not like you see on the models in the magazines. Take care Hannah, let me know how you are doing and don’t hesitate to reconnect if you have other questions. Warmly, Mary

  28. Matay November 15, 2016 at 03:21 #

    I am a 13 year old girl. Height:5’3″
    I started my period this July. 146lbs seems like a high number to me. I look average I guess. Not plump,no double chin,so 146 is just an odd number. Any thoughts?

    • mbrighton November 15, 2016 at 14:08 #

      Hi Matay, If you feel good in yourself, if you are physically active and aren’t usually sick then for me that is a good number for you. I could recommend just trying to listen to your body, eat well and healthy and continuing regular exercise. You also still are in a growing period, although slower than before. Thanks for contacting and I wish you a nice day! Mary

  29. Sally November 14, 2016 at 05:58 #

    Hi! I am a 15 year old girl 5 ft 5 and 140 pounds, am I to big? should I loss weight and what would my ideal weight be??? Please let me know, I am extreamly active 25+h of sports a week and am a vegetieren and restic carbs and dariy.

    Let me know.

    • mbrighton November 15, 2016 at 14:11 #

      Hi Sally! As I mentioned to Matay earlier, a number is just a number. How do YOU feel in yourself? Also, you are extremely active, and this muscle you put on as you train will be heavier than other tissues in your body. It sounds to me that you are doing well and I wish you good days forward to continue to train and be well. Thanks Sally for your question. Warmly, Mary

  30. Emily George October 22, 2016 at 10:38 #

    How to Lose Weight As a Teenager

  31. Dawn October 3, 2016 at 14:25 #

    Hi I’m a 15 1/2 -year old student. In April 2016 I was 153cm, 45kg but over the months I steadily began developing curves and hips and gained fat in the hips, stomach, and upper arm. Now I am 155.8-156.8cm, 57kg.

    I’ve always lived a healthy, balanced life style: cardio and weights exercise 4 times a week, eating lower carb/higher protein/lots of veggies/fruits, NO fried food/sugary food/desserts (if so, maybe once a month), so the weight gain was very surprising. In 8th grade I went through a phase of under-eating/no menstrual flow, and have not gone through a growth spurt yet so I am told that this may be my growth spurt. But is this weight gain normal?

    • mbrighton October 3, 2016 at 16:15 #

      Dear Dawn, Sometime around 16 years old, as a young woman, you will stop growing at a rapid weight and you will gain a few more pounds. In your case, as you mentioned, your growth spurt is delayed and this is what might be happening now? Only a doctor who sees you physically can determine if what stage of growth spurt you are in. Don’t worry too much now, you are doing what you should be doing to stay healthy. Things seem normal to me, I would suggest a visit to your doctor for assessing that all is well and concentrate on eating well, exercising and growing. Check back with me next April and let me know how you are and what your height and weight are. Take care Dawn, let me know if you have any questions…. Mary

  32. Haliza August 26, 2016 at 07:00 #

    Hi. Its haliza. My daughter nownage 17 yeaars. She has no physical disability. Quite good and active. But her hight is 4 feet and weight is 40 kg and very slim . Her bodysize is smaller compate 17 years age girls. Her younger sister is bigger than her now. Plz guide me what measure to do. And what type of medical tests should do to diagnoses if there is sny hormonic problem with her. Thanx

    • mbrighton September 12, 2016 at 12:05 #

      Dear Haliza, Thank you for your message/question. Her height is much smaller on average than a typical 17 year old. Are you sure she is only 4 feet tall? I would suggest a visit to the doctor to assess whether she is growing ‘normally’. Please let me know if you have any other questions, apologies if I couldn’t help you better.

  33. Danika July 31, 2016 at 08:25 #

    Hi my name is danika. I am currently 12 years old soon to be 13 in some months. My BMI is 19.9 I don’t know if that’s good of not. I weigh 102 pounds and my height is 5’0. I am very insecure about my body. While I’m wearing any tight shirt or any clothing I usually tend to hold in my stomach to make me look maybe more slim. I can walk around my house and my siblings would tell me my stomach is big, I’m fat, or I need to eat less. I want to sit down and not be able to grab my fat. Sometimes it’s embarrassing. I try to eat healthy but I don’t shop for food my parents do. So I really need your advice to lose the Extra fat.

  34. Hannah July 23, 2016 at 18:41 #

    Hi, so I’m 13, turning 14 in a few months. During summer break, I haven’t been very active and I have gone through an appetite increase. And throughout those two months, I gained 20 pounds! I used to be 110. Is this normal? I always grow little by little, not in one huge spurt, so I’m worried because I am only 5’0 (I come from a short family). Any advice?

  35. Lisa July 11, 2016 at 15:53 #

    I have a 16 year old daughter (turned 16 last month) and she has always been of good health, slim and fit, eating healthy… She is 171 cm tall and her weight was 56 kg during the last year and the beginning of this year. Now suddenly, in a month or a bit more, she has put on 5 kg and is a bit worried so she decided to speak to me. She looks fine and her current weight is still considered normal for her height, but she is concerned about the “rapid” weightgain for no apparent reason. She hasn’t changed her lifestyle or eating habits. Recently, she has started exerciseing on a daily basis (running and jogging) because we agreed she should be more phiscally active and it is certainly good for her health. So far, she has been enjoying her exercise, but it doesn’t seem to help with the weightgain, quite the contrary! Any tips or explanations, are we doing something wrong?

    • mbrighton July 22, 2016 at 23:39 #

      Hi Lisa,
      Apologies for this belated reply. My professional opinion: to add 5 kg to your weight in a short period of time (about a month) without any reason means a trip to the doctor just to be sure everything is ok. This age (around 17) is where girls slow down drastically with their growth, and this can mean a weight gain as girls adjust to needing less calories, but usually the weight gain is over a longer period. I see that your daughter is exercising (great!) but a sudden increase in running can add muscle and weight. I wouldnt worry too much, but a visit to the doctor seems a good idea. Warmly, Mary

  36. Yasmeena June 12, 2016 at 17:45 #

    Hello I am 11 soon to be twelve , live in jhb so hope you understand what I write but I am 1.52 in height and weigh about 63kg but I have tried tone down and keep a healthy diet and exercise plan but it’s hard to ,I however am not sure why I am not getting a growth spurt and was wondering if my height is normal and I will pick up later on, but back to weight I am concerned and seek help on a strict diet for a month to tone down
    Also if I do a diet and do tone down could it help my height

    • mbrighton June 14, 2016 at 16:10 #

      Hi yasmeena! You haven’t gotten your growth spurt because you are not old enough. Wait a few months to a year and it should start. Normally after your growth spurt you will be taller, and it is good that you look after your eating…no dieting, try to eat balanced meals and increase your exercise. Is there a parent, teacher or Doctor you can talk to about getting you on a healthy eating plan? Let me know if you have other questions, and good luck!

  37. Joseph Pipperton May 31, 2016 at 06:06 #

    hello, I am 12 and turning 13 in the summer I am at 5’4″ and about 148 lbs. I have fat on my chest and have a large pair of man boobs and I am really concerned about my weight as since I have celulite and lots of fat on my legs as well I am just wondering if I am overweight or not, as I’ve been told that I have “a belly” and girl legs so I am just seeking some help and wondering if i’m just going through puberty or need to loose weight. My friends that are boys as one is about my size and the other is just overweight and they don’t seem to worry about their bodies, Am I healthy?

    • mbrighton May 31, 2016 at 15:50 #

      Hi Joseph, Thank you very much for your message. The average start age for puberty in boys in around 13 years old. For your weight, you are considered to be in the overweight percentage if you look at your figures as a BMI (body mass index). However, BMI isn’t always the most accurate way to establish if a person is under or overweight. When you will go thru puberty, you will have a large height growth spurt. During this time you will be hungry and need a lot of good nutrition. I would recommend that you seek some advice on ways to eat balanced while making sure you get some active one hour physical activity time daily. If you increase your exercise and eat a balanced diet you can get thru this active growth spurt time with a taller and leaner body. The most important is that you are healthy and feel good in yourself. To answer your questions: whether you are overweight or not? Based on the figures you gave me, you would be considered in the overweight range. 2. Whether you are going thru puberty? This is something to ask your doctor who can tell you whether you have started puberty or not. 3. Whether you need to lose weight? It is not recommended that children go on any special diets, but I suggest speaking to your parent, doctor, or someone (a school nurse?) if you are concerned about wanting to get leaner as you move thru puberty in the next few years. 4. Are you healthy? This isn’t easy to tell you without seeing you in person, but Joseph, if you are not sick often and feel pretty well, that is a good indication that you are healthy. Being overweight doesn’t necessarily mean that you are unhealthy. Good Luck and take a moment to speak to someone who can help you to support your goals. If you have any questions, please let me know. Warmly, Mary

  38. Hayley Michaelakos April 20, 2016 at 02:05 #

    I’m a fifteen year old girl and my mom does everything listed

    talking about my eating habits
    encouraging me to eat less
    making comments
    And constantly weighing me

    I used to weight 160.9 (I’m 5’6)
    Now I weight 191.6 (I just weighed myself and so at the point I know I’m now overweight. However, I’ve been on diets since 4th grade and I participate in gym class everyday, I used to do softball but it was affecting my grades.

    I’m not exactly sure what to do anymore, any advice?

    • mbrighton April 21, 2016 at 18:02 #

      Dear Hayley, Thanks for reaching out! Sounds like you are in a lot of pressure mode from your mom, it must not be easy for you –sometimes parents seem like we are on ‘the backs’ of our kids because we love and care about them and don’t always know what is the right thing to do in every situation. I don’t know which country you live in, but I recommend a visit to a registered dietitian -a visit that you and your mom go to together. A dietitian can help put you on the path of healthy eating without being on a diet, while helping your mom to be a source of support rather than what the situation is at the moment. If you have any issues with your self-esteem based on your weight, perhaps you could ask advice from a psychologist at school or a teacher that is supportive? I could advise you now to talk to your mom about getting some feedback about your weight from a health professional (starting from a doctor who can refer to a dietitian) rather than having your mom be in control of your weight, constantly weighing you isn’t a helpful process for you to achieve an ‘ideal’ weight. I hope this is helpful, let me know how things are going, and let me know if you have any questions. Warmly, Mary

    • Hayley Michaelakos April 25, 2016 at 02:11 #

      I could be wrong but aren’t I still growing?
      I weighed myself yesterday afternoon, after I had eaten a taco, a plate or baked beans and crackers and two slices of pizza, I weighed 188.4 lbs

      Today was the first time in 3 weeks my mother cooked. I ate a lot of Kale and had an extra piece of corn. (I had slept a lot today because I didnt feel well) I will admit I also had extra corn bread but aside from that my grandma angrily made a comment that I was too fat and should stop eating for a few days. My mom said “vegetables are 0 points, she’s fine” and then my grandma said “you won’t be happy until you have to butter the door to get her through”

      I’m curvy but am I supposed to be super small for my height and age? I don’t even eat sugary foods, I’ve cut out soda and I don’t eat pork, eggs, sea food nor a lot of bread and pasta. I do eat a lot of vegetables and fruit and drink water, am I doing okay?

      My ideal weight is 120 lbs. just so I can make them all shut up and I can be happy.

    • mbrighton April 25, 2016 at 10:45 #

      Hayley, Yes you are still growing, but it is at a slower pace than you were growing at between 13-15 years old. You are doing great-vegetables, water and cutting out the soda. I am sorry that you hear these comments at home about your weight, it doesn’t help your situation. Your ideal weight might not be a weight you will ever be at, but keep eating healthy (and eating every day) these balanced foods like vegetables along with some protein rich foods (for iron that you need) and calcium rich foods (dairy products). You do need to eat every day-crash diets is not the solution. Walking and biking are good exercise and good to do everyday. Stay positive and remember that you are beautiful no matter what weight you are!

  39. Cagen April 14, 2016 at 05:04 #

    Hi, I’m an 18 year old female and 4’11”. For almost all of high school I weight around 103 and was very concious about keeping it there if not lower. However at the beginning of my senior year I began to rapidly gain weight, at first I attributed it to slacking off on diet and exercise. About a month after the initial weight gain I resumed my active lifestyle/healthy eating, however the weight is still coming up. I’ve been tested for an hypothyroidism and tests were negative. I’m currently at 120 which is overweight for my height however the doctors and my mom say nothing is wrong. I have tried lowering calories and exercising more, everything and nothing is working. Any thoughts?

    • mbrighton April 16, 2016 at 21:28 #

      Hi Cagen, Thanks for your question. So sorry you are concerned about your weight gain, this must be troubling for you. Without a complete review of your medical history and nutritional intake it is difficult for me to make an assessment on why you have gained this weight. You seem to be doing everything correctly, and this must be frustrating for you especially as your doctor and mum say that nothing is wrong. Your weight should stabilize and if it doesn’t then I would suggest additional tests or a further health physical. Sorry I couldn’t be more help. Stay in touch and let me know how you are doing. Warmly, Mary

  40. Love and peace April 9, 2016 at 20:20 #

    Hi Mary,
    I am currently 12 years old and I am 5″3 and currently 113-115 lbs is this a normal size. Do you have any estimate about how much I will weigh when I am 18? I have a bmi of 20.4

    • mbrighton April 12, 2016 at 14:29 #

      Hi Love and Peace! That is an excellent question. With height you can have a good estimate based on your parents heights, but with weight this is not applicable. You are in a good height and weight right now, and if you continue to grow as expected, eat healthy, do plenty of exercise, then you should have no problem with weight , neither under nor over. Hope this answered your question? If not, let me know. (Basically I cannot answer your question because there is no correct answer). Warmly, Mary

  41. kriti February 26, 2016 at 09:03 #

    Hi I’m a 16 year old girl… Height is 154 cm. Weight 54 kg
    Last year I was 45 KGS….I ve gained 9 KGS in a year…..but my height didn’t increase is it normal?

    • mbrighton February 27, 2016 at 20:30 #

      Dear Kriti, It is normal that around 16 years old you will see your height slow down and reach a plateau. That is what you are probably experiencing. For the weight gain, it is hard to say what is happening without a full dietetic and medical exam. If you are concerned, please speak to your parents or another adult about your weight. For your height 54 kgs is an okay weight , as long as you are eating well and exercising. Let me know if you have any questions.

  42. kruthi February 26, 2016 at 07:44 #

    Hi ma’am…I’m 16 years old ….my weight is 54 KGS and height is 154cms….I was 45 KGS last year….I have gained almost 10 KGS in a year…is it normal???

  43. John February 26, 2016 at 06:08 #

    Im a 13 year old male 5’11.5. Recently I’ve been gaining lots of weight is this normal? In the past month I went from 175lbs to 185lbs. Should I be worried or is this perfectly normal? If so where is this weight coming from, muscle? Or is it just because I’m growing? I engage in most physical activities when I get the chance, such as American football or weight lifting. (bench pressing and deadlifting etc.) . I would also like to know if deadlifting and other weight lifting/ working out will affect my growth.

    • mbrighton February 27, 2016 at 20:33 #

      Hi John, You are quite tall! It sounds as if you are entering into a larger weight gain to support more growth in height. Your weight gain is most likely due to growth, although it sounds as if you are doing a lot of deadlifting and weight lifting. The weight lifting should not affect your growth unless you are not eating enough to support your exercise. Let me know if you have any other questions. Warmly, Mary

  44. Nicole February 15, 2016 at 06:11 #

    I’m a 13 year old girl and I’m kind of worried about my weight. Over the past one or two years, I went from being very slim and about 85 pounds to slightly chubby and 113 pounds. (My height gain was 5 feet 0 inches to 5 feet 5 inches, or 152cm to 165cm) At around 105 pounds I stopped gaining weight for several months, but recently my weight gain has suddenly begun again and I don’t know why or when it’s going to stop.
    I am concerned because I think I’ve already have had my major height growth spurt, so how come I’m still gaining so much weight? I hear of people getting chubby during their teen years, but eventually getting a lot taller and slimming down. But if I’m already really near my adult height, will I ever naturally go back to being slim? Or is the only way to lose the extra body fat through dieting and exercise?

    • mbrighton February 17, 2016 at 10:43 #

      Dear Nicole, Thank you very much for your question. I think your concern is if you will still continue gaining weight since your growth spurt is on the slow down? You will still grow a bit in the next few years, but it will not be as fast as you experienced in the last 1-2 years. Your height and weight are good and are within an ‘ideal weight’: you are 5 foot 5 inches and 113 pounds, this is a good weight to be for your height. You may want to be slimmer, but you are at a very good weight, and by trying to be slimmer you risk not getting enough nutrition (food) for your growing body. ‘Naturally back to being slim’ (I think you mean 105 pounds for your height) —was a weight that I would consider too slim. Perhaps all the changes moving thru your teens, with the physical changes have been sudden for you and you need time to adjust? A good way to feel good about your body is to do some type of sport —even dance or something you like to do. This physical activity will keep your body moving, which is needs to do for good health and will help you feel good about yourself. It will also help you to expend energy, and this helps to moderate your eating so that you eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. For your age, you shouldn’t be on a ‘diet’ but can make sure that you are doing some exercise everyday (even just walking or biking). I hope that I answered your question the way you expected. Let me know if you have any other questions, Warmly =Mary

  45. Rumaisa December 29, 2015 at 23:14 #

    I am 12 years old. I hit puberty when i was 11 and although I only gained like 5 kg during this time but my legs are really fat and my hips are also growing very big and my hands are also growing chubbier. My upper body is perfectly slim but I don’t know why the lower part of my body is growing fatter. My thighs will look perfectly slim if there not pressing against something. Like if I sit at the end of my bed with my thighs pressing against it they will spread and look really wide and fat which they probably are but if I just let my butt touch the bed and let my thighs dangling over they will look fine. I’ve had asthama since I was born but it got better after I was 3 but when I hit puberty my asthama came back worse this time. I was very active before but now when I tried to run a little I almost fainted because I couldn’t breath. So now I can’t do any sort of exercise so can you please tell me how to lose weight and if it is normal to start gaining weight on the lower part of my body. Also my mom is constantly at my back she keeps telling me to do the treadmill she just doesn’t understand that I can’t do it.

    • mbrighton December 30, 2015 at 15:40 #

      Hello Rumaisa,
      Thank you for your comment and questions. Your body shape sounds perfectly normal although you seem concerned. Body shape is also influenced by genetics, you gain more weight in the lower half of your body may be due to your genetic background (from your parents and grandparents). Exercise would help you to gain confidence in yourself, but in this area you also sound frustrated. Try again to speak with your mom (or write her a note if you feel your message is not getting thru ) or speak with someone else that will listen to you that you need help with an exercise program. And don’t worry, everyone’s thighs look larger when they are flat on the bed, rather than looking at them hanging down, sometimes we look at our body with harsher eyes than others around. Try to talk to those around you that will help you find a good exercise program that will give you confidence in you. Good luck! Let me know if you have further questions, warmly Mary

  46. BigFootBoy October 26, 2015 at 17:27 #

    I have an above average sized boy. He has always been off the charts 99% percentile on the growth charts. This summer at the age of 12 (+9 months) he was about 230lbs and grew to about 6’1″. Still a bit heavy, but starting to look proportionate for his height. He played baseball for the summer and also rode his bike to the pool approx. 3x a week. Now that it is fall and school started…he plays football. He saw a lot of playing time, playing almost all snaps on offense and defense. But Recently, he was cut from the 7th grade basketball team for his lack of speed. He also started playing on a travel team and made that team. I watched a full practice, and he is struggling out there running the floor. Check his weight is now at 245lbs. What happened to my boy? He also turned 13 the week he was cut from basketball. Odd, since he played so much during football season. We do need to eat better and have better snacks. He is always always always so hungry, especially during football (saw that the prior year too). Since he got cut from the team, we are going to hit the cardio pretty hard…an hour a day everyday. My plan is treadmill, stationary bikes, and rowing machine. And maybe on somedays a second workout shooting hoops for another hour. So 6’1″, 245lbs, age 13, 0 months. His pediatrician has always projected him to grow taller than his dad (6’5″). This is such a hard time for him…many tears.

    • mbrighton November 5, 2015 at 13:57 #

      Dear BigFootBoy, Thanks for your heartfelt personal story about your son. What a shame that he was cut from the basketball team-that is such a great sport to keep the body moving and weight controlled. If your son is tired and has difficulties running the floor (as you said), maybe his diet before the game could be better controlled? Too much sugar (in soda pop and juices or in sweets/biscuits) can make a player tired after a short time. Your son, at 13 years old, is in the average age to be starting puberty (boys start at 13 on average). Teenagers in puberty need food but also a lot of sleep (9-10 hours a night). Keep supporting him through this process and know that a weight gain before puberty can sometimes be normal to support the huge height gains your son will reach until he is 15 years old + . Good luck, let me know how he is doing. Mary

  47. Robyn January 18, 2015 at 21:07 #

    Hi my son is 9.6 and 5 foot 2 I was wondering what his heig by would be when he’s 18.He is 106.6 pounds and his parents are 5 foot 4 mother and 6 foot 0 father

  48. Jean November 1, 2014 at 19:22 #

    You mentioned that one time for concern is a large weight gain or loss in a short period of time. Can you be a little more specific? My fourteen year old lost nearly 10 pounds in the last month. She is not trying to diet or lose weight. She is 5’5″ tall and 109 lbs right now. Should she be taken to the doctor about this or is this within a normal range? Thank you! (Even though your information about weight gain does not apply to this daughter, it is helpful in terms of my other daughter. I appreciate it!)

    • mbrighton November 1, 2014 at 22:57 #

      Hi Jean, a visit to the doctor to check your daughter would be my recommended idea. For anyone (child ,teen, adult), this weight loss in a short period is a concern. In the immediate moment, that would be my main concern. Yes, your daughter is underweight, but losing 10 pounds in one month without trying is a signal for a doctor checkup. Let me know how she is doing. All the best, Mary

  49. Tandi Nel September 6, 2014 at 05:53 #

    My daughter is 15 and has battled the past 10 months with excessive weight gain. Suddenly over Dec 13 she picked up about 5kg and we thought it was just the holidays. She started dieting in January. Leaving out all starches, especially bread. She rapidly increased her water intake and she joined the gym (going 4 days/week). NO WEIGHT LOSS AT ALL. I took her to the gynea in April and blood tests showed abnormal high levels of male hormone. Dr said that this could possible lead to PCOS. He did say that she still does not have PCOS but that he was going to treat her by prescribing the pill (Melodene) as well as cypla-progesterone. Shes been on this treatment since April with NO change in her weight. She is frantic about her weight and it is destroying her confidence. She is even getting stretch marks on her legs. Please can you suggest anything else we should have a look at. Regards Tandi

    • mbrighton September 8, 2014 at 23:47 #

      Hi Tandi, Empathetic with your daughter on her weight gain and not losing weight. It sounds like her doctor has things going in the right direction. I am not a doctor, but I do know that hormones (both internal and taken by pill) can affect weight and it sounds like your daughter has hormonal issues (that her doctor is taking control). The only recommendation I have is to seek a 2nd opinion (if possible) by another Gynecologist to seek advice on her hormones. This is a difficult period, to watch your daughter do everything and not lose weight, but this is par for the course with hormone issues. Hope this helps! Drop me a line if I can answer any other questions. Warmly, Mary

  50. Jess July 5, 2014 at 05:12 #

    I just turned 14 years old, 138 lbs, and 5′ 6. People tell me I look to be much thinner than I am. However, when I go to the doctor’s office and the nurses weigh me, I can tell that they are shocked at my weight.. keep in mind that all the nurses are very petite and I basically tower over them. Every year after I hit puberty I gained about 10 pounds and now I’m afraid I’ll be overweight after puberty and in the future. I justify my weight because I danced for a long period of time and because of my height. Is my weight normal?

    • mbrighton July 5, 2014 at 05:52 #

      Hi Jess, Yes. you are completely normal. Do not worry. Eat balanced and stay active and you should be fine. Warmly, Mary

  51. Gp April 26, 2014 at 03:19 #

    My daughter is 18 and struggled with anexoria years ago. Recently, she started rapidly gaining weight (9+ pounds in 2-3 weeks). She is freaking out mentally and her doctor is not really”listening”. So she is 5’3″ and had been 110, now at 119, while this seems like no big deal to others it’s a huge deal to her. She was previously diagnosed with autoimmune and iron deficiency as well. She was put on bc pills to help related her hormones for purposes of the migraines she was getting. She has been on these for 5 months and did gain about 4 lbs initially. Any suggestions on where to get some help?

    • mbrighton April 26, 2014 at 23:04 #

      Dear GP, Your doctor doesn’t seem aware on how this weight gain can affect your daughter’s anxiety. I would suggest a private call to her doctor or the nurse working with the doctor to push them to understand your daughter’s weight fears. Plus, this much weight in 2-3 weeks is quite a lot. If after a private phone call her doctor is not willing to put more effort into finding out what is happening, I would suggest getting a second opinion or changing doctors.
      Let me know what is happening… I hope you find answers, I am sorry I can’t be more helpful. Warmly, Mary

  52. Ximena March 19, 2014 at 03:33 #

    Hey, my name is Ximena and I’ve been concerned about my body. I don’t really care about my weight, rather than how I look in my clothes. But, I hit puberty at a young age. (8) And I’ve gained 30 pounds somewhere in my preteen years, (late 11 or early 12) I’m thirteen now, and I’ve read articles concerning my condition. I believe it’s called “Precocious puberty” and they recently put age 8 as “normal.” The problem is, I’ve read I’m supposed to end puberty around ages 14-15. Which is significantly near, AND I LOOK NOWHERE NEAR READY! I’ve gained thirty pounds that were meant to become my “curves” and “breasts” but so far, I have small love handles and I’ve been an A-cup since I was 11 or 10. I feel I should appear more “womanly,” but I resemble girls at my school who just hit puberty last year. I’m semi-confident about my body, but I sometimes wonder if there’s something wrong with me. I already hit my growth spurt, I’m supposed to keep growing but I’m still the same height since last year. I know shortness doesn’t nescessarily run in my family, my brother is fairly tall and I’m barely 5’1! I’m supposed to finish puberty next year or the year after that, and I’m still so short! I really want to reach at least 5’4, but I’ve been losing hope. The only thing that’s been feeding me any hope is the fact that I might “fill-out” a lot better. I’m too big to be considered a “thin” girl, but too flat to be a “curvy” girl. I really hate the thought of being normal, I’ve always wanted to fill out and get an hourglass shape when I’m older. I don’t care much about my shape now if I’m positive I’ll look better in the future, but at this rate I’m losing hope. :/
    (P.S. I’m fairly active.)

    • mbrighton March 24, 2014 at 10:39 #

      Dear Ximena, Big apologies for this late reply. I understand your concerns about your height, and your body. I sense that you are confident about your appearance but you question if you will continue with puberty and whether you will fill out in your breast area and in height. I would really recommend a detailed visit with your General Practitioner (doctor) with your concerns. A doctor can look at your physical appearance and check at what state you are in puberty. The statistics you read online about puberty (age it stops, etc) are GENERAL, there are always exceptions. The fact that ‘hit’ puberty at a young age is another reason to have a detailed visit with a doctor. You are still young (13 years old), and you have years ahead of you until you reach ‘womenhood.’ Stay active and hopeful. I wish I could help you more, I feel that you need a medical view on your hormones and state of puberty and this is not my area of expertise. As far as the weight is concerned, keep active and eat well. By staying the same weight you will continue to develop your body’s shape. Let me know if you have any questions. Mary

  53. Rhiannon January 22, 2014 at 23:40 #

    Hi Mary,
    My son will be 12 in April. Since July he has gained about 40 pounds. I know it is normal to gain weight during this time in his life but I am worried about how much he has gained in such a short time. He has several diagnoses such as ADHD, anxiety disorder, mood disorder not specified and ODD. He is on meds that could cause weight gain however he wasn’t on any of those meds for a little over a month and he still gained over 10 pounds in that month. His doctor just tested him for several things including thyroid which came back normal. His cholesterol levels are high and his fasting blood sugar is borderline high. Any insight would be great as we have been dealing with his weight issues as well as his behavioral issues for months now.

    • mbrighton January 24, 2014 at 00:06 #

      Hi Rhiannon, First off I am sorry for these worries for your son, it must be frustrating to see his weight gain without a real known cause. 40 pounds is a lot of weight, I can see why your doctor has run some tests. I can add that for your son, as a growing preteen, 40 pounds is more than we would expect to see. Without looking closely at his diet it is difficult to see what is going on. Have you noticed any changes? Is your son hoarding or taking food into his room and eating it? Any stress at home or school that would cause a change in behavior/eating habits?
      What I can recommend at the moment is to support your son with this weight gain. Do not make comments or try to be too strict with his eating, but observe his eating and drinking. Are there any changes that might lead to this weight gain?
      Let me know how things are going….I know I am not much help, but I do empathize with you….
      as they say in French, “courage” .

  54. Beverly July 15, 2013 at 15:54 #

    My son who will be 12 in October has gained 15 pounds since December. He’s gotten really thick and chubby around his midsection and thick all over. My husband is very critical that he is getting fat. He’s always been active but not as much right now. He wants to play football but with his present weight of 111 pounds, he will only be able to block. He is right at 5 ft tall. I feel like he’s getting a complex from his father and brother. Is this a normal stage or do I really need to worry about his weight?

    • mbrighton July 15, 2013 at 23:31 #

      Hi Beverly, that is about 2 pounds a month since December. As he isn’t very active right now some of his weight gain could be from this more sedentary lifestyle. I would recommend keeping an eye on it and pushing him to be more active. He is really at the point where some weight gain is normal because he will be starting a big growth spurt in the next 6 months to a year but on the other hand these 15 pounds should be at the limit of his pre-growth spurt weight gain. Let me know if you have any questions. Warmly, Mary

  55. Alison July 8, 2013 at 06:15 #

    Hi my names Alison, I’m 11, I’m 5″1, and I wiegh 109 pounds, i feel over sized.
    I did this test and found out my body mass is 20.6980 and apparently that’s normal but I still feel super insecure, and it doesn’t help when my mom says ” go on the treadmill it will do you good!” because it makes me feel like she’s implying something. So am I over weight? And is it normal to feel so insecure you don’t want to wear shorts or tank tops?

    • mbrighton July 9, 2013 at 04:20 #

      Hi Alison, Thanks so much for your comment. The fact that you are asking me this question means that you are really concerned. Yes, you are in the normal sized BMI category but the fact that you feel over-sized and insecure means that you still do not feel happy with these numbers. I can tell you that your age is a time where you normally gain a little extra weight to support your soon to happen growth spurt. Your mom, when she tells you to jump on the treadmill is probably not implying about your weight, but about you being fit and in shape-something very important for teens. I can tell you to please try to talk to your mom about her question and your insecurities-yes, it is normal to feel insecure about not wanting to wear shorts or tank tops. This is not an easy period in your life with feeling insecure- you are not the only one, so do not worry. Try to eat healthy and do some sport /exercise and get enough sleep. All these things will help you to feel secure in yourself. If you still feel insecure when you reach 12 and then 13 try to open your heart to someone that can help you to feel better in yourself. Sometimes weight is just an issue to other underlying insecurites. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions or other concerns. Warmly, Mary

  56. lauren June 25, 2013 at 07:43 #

    Hi I’ve just turned 13 and I started gaining weight when I was 10 only slightly though but when I got to 12 I put on a lot of weight I now weigh 12.13 and I always blamed myself and I didn’t know why I way so big because I don’t really eat any junk food and I love salad. I’m always hungry and I can’t control it but after reading what’s above I have more of an understanding now but I’d like to ask is there anymore information you can give me if its ok can you email me thanks -lauren

    • mbrighton June 27, 2013 at 13:49 #

      Hi Lauren, Thanks very much for your comment. I will email you and try to worry about your weight, it is probably part of your normal growing pattern. Keep eating well and exercising and will be in touch. Warmly, Mary

  57. Sherrie June 10, 2013 at 20:28 #

    Hi. My 16 year old daughter is 5’3″ and currently weighs 102 lbs. In January she weighed 123 but in less than 3 weeks she lost 21 pounds without trying. After having bloodwork done twice her primary care physician noted that her TSH value was a bit out of range (0.326) but T4 and T3 values were fine. Suspecting that she might be hyperthyroid, an ultrasound of her thyroid gland was done. Those results were negative and there was no enlargement or nodules. All other bloodwork had values in range except for low Vitamin D.
    Her weight has remained constant since the dramatic weight loss. Her appetite is good and although she eats a fair amount of fast food she also eats healthy foods as well. Her doctor does not appear to be very concerned. He simply recommended an evaluation with an endocrinologist which I have scheduled for late July (the first available appointment). That’s a long time to wait for answers!
    Can her weight loss be attributed to loss of baby fat? I know she is worried why she would lose so much weight so quickly and I would like to give her some kind of reassurance.

    • mbrighton June 10, 2013 at 21:55 #

      Hi Sherrie, Thank you for your question and comment. I can understand your concerns. I am not a doctor, but in my professional opinion as a dietitian, this large amount of weight loss in a very short period of time (approximately 20% of her body weight) is not attributed to loss of baby fat. Your doctor seems to be very on top of things, and luckily all seems to be in order. I agree that July is a long time to wait to speak to an endocrinologist, but hopefully he/she will share some light on the reasons for this weight loss. I can only suggest to reassure your daughter that things seem okay at the moment and that she is healthy and weight stable. Please keep in touch and hope all seems to stay fine without any changes. Warmly, Mary

  58. asma March 11, 2013 at 13:31 #

    My daughter is 17,146 cm and weighs 60 kg. In the last one year she has gained around
    6 kg and in the past one or two weeks only she has gained 4 kg. Her thighs and hips and abdomen has gained lot of muscle.For her small height we gave her growth hormone for four months(with the endocrinologist prescribing it),two months back she stopped taking it.Her hair also has grown longer which otherwise do not grow much.she had clean skin but since one and half years she is getting lot of pimples on face,chest and back.she had attained puberty at the age of 10 yrs.we live in saudi arabia. she is good in studies. I am her mother suffering from hypothyroidism since last six years and have both knee joint osteoporosis.Her thyroid lab tests and thyroid gland scanning was done two times,it were normal. We parents are of average height(me 5 feet and my husband 5 feet 41/2 inches).No one in our families are of her height but one of her paternal aunt was obese from 17 years of age.I am so much worried about her.please reply me as soon as possible.what could be the cause and what should I do?please help me.
    Thankyou so much in advance.

    • mbrighton March 22, 2013 at 16:09 #

      Hi Asma, I apologize if I didn’t reply sooner (I thought I did, but it looks as if the comment didn’t go thru).
      You daughter is 17 and is nearing the end of her growth period. She is 146 cm (1.46 meters) is this correct? Yes, if this is correct, your daughter, at 60 kg is considered overweight. For your daughter to gain 4 kg in a week or two this is a lot of weight. She may be genetically inclined to be larger size but her diet could be improved to help her to lose weight (or at least not gain anymore).
      Perhaps the growth hormone influenced her recent weight gain. It is difficult for me to answer specifically on how to help your daughter. It sounds like she is getting good medical treatments. I could recommend that you look for a dietitian in your country (or nutritionist) that could provide a more personalized plan of action. Also, your daughter could benefit from regular physical activity (one hour a day 5-6 times a week).
      Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.
      Let me know if you have any questions.
      Warmly, Mary

  59. Wendy March 10, 2013 at 18:07 #

    Please help… My 17 yr old son (he just turned 17 at the end of January) went from 155 to 144 pounds, Please tell me if this is something I should be worried about (I am anyway) We just had blood work done recently and are waiting results. I am sick with concern now. Do boys go through this weight loss at this age? He has not really increased his activity (he is not athletic at all) He has been walking a bit more but nothing substantial. He recently got his first girlfriend and is happy and not depressed or anything. He says he feels fine but is a bit more tired than normal for him, had a cold that has hung on for about 4 weeks now… mostly nasal mucus now only.

    • mbrighton March 10, 2013 at 20:57 #

      Wendy, Could you please tell me his height and in what period of time he has lost his weight? He has lost 11 lbs, which is about 7% of his body weight. If this has happened in a short period of time (6 months or less) than this is a cause of concern. He is being seen by a doctor? Boys do not ‘normally’ go through weight loss at 17 years old. See what the results of the blood test say and let me know how things go. I can understand how worrisome it is for you to see your son lose this weight and I hope that nothing is seriously wrong.

  60. BARBIE February 27, 2013 at 18:07 #

    Why would my 16 year old Daughter loose 1 1/2 ” in height? in the last year?

    • mbrighton February 28, 2013 at 22:39 #

      Hi Barbie. Seems impossible. Most likely her height was measured wrong at one of her doctor’s visits.

  61. Mar February 24, 2013 at 22:51 #

    My daughter is 15 and was weighed in December at her check up. She was 88 lbs. down about 6 lbs. from last year. Not sure what is causing the weight loss. Although I attribute this to too much computer time and not getting out of her chair for meals and snacks. On weekdays she skips breakfast and eats lunch at school as well as an after school snack and dinner at home. During the weekends, has 2 meals. We are due to return to the doctor this week, we’ve been weighing her but she still has not gained weight since December. Yes, computer time is limited as best as we can, it becomes a battle at times. She has a learning disability and being on the computer helps her keep occupied, because most of the time she is bored.

    • mbrighton February 25, 2013 at 09:09 #

      Hello! Thanks for your question. How tall is your daughter? Her weight loss is a big concern. She should be gaining weight. Please keep in close touch with your doctor to explore any medical reasons why she is losing weight. In her case, she could benefit from eating breakfast. This may not be easy to implement, but she should be having a daily breakfast. Even a yogurt and slice of toast, or a granola bar and a yogurt drink, she needs to eat something in the morning. Because of her weight loss, she could also have a snack before she goes to sleep: a bowl of cereal, toast with butter or a yogurt.
      Good luck, your daughter needs more calories and some additional nudging from you to get her to eat more.
      She could also take a multivitamin daily which could help her since she has experienced a large weight loss (almost 10% of her body weight) in the last year.
      Let us know how she is doing.

  62. Kathy February 11, 2013 at 01:56 #

    My daughter is 13, 5’7 and 95 lbs and she hasn’t gained ANY weight since she was about 11 and 5’1, should I be concerned?

    • mbrighton February 11, 2013 at 09:07 #

      While it is difficult to do an accurate assessment just with numbers, I can tell you that your daughter’s BMI (body mass index) is less than 15. This is considered underweight (as a number). Some children are healthy at a BMI of 15 because they genetically are thin but still eat well. However, I would recommend a full assessment for her from her doctor to rule out any health problems/disordered eating habits. Two years at the same weight is quite a long time, especially with such a big jump in height. Let me know if you have any questions.

  63. Mari February 6, 2013 at 19:49 #

    My 15 year old son was 106 last February. He is currently 98. He has been going up and down from 93 to 98 for the past 8 months. Blood work performed last July was normal. He eats dinner, but thats about it. I’ve try supplement drinks and a healthy diet per his Pediatrician and nutrionistist, but nothing has work. Liquid wise, he only wants water which a course is healthy, but i would like something else in his body at this point. I don’t know what to do. Any suggestions

    • mbrighton February 7, 2013 at 23:55 #

      Hi, can you give me his height please?

  64. tracey January 19, 2013 at 20:34 #

    hello my son from the age of seven has gained weight and keeps doing so we took him to the doctors as we are worried about him he was 61kilos and should be 49 for his age now 12 and his height asked if it could be his thyroid as he often looks puffy in his face and his stomach always looks bloated she said she didnt think so but would do a blood test if we wanted

    • mbrighton January 19, 2013 at 21:38 #

      Hi Tracey, If the doctor wanted to do a blood test, why not? But what do you think is happening? Sometimes that bloated look can be from too much salt, sugar in the diet , and not enough exercise and fresh air. I don’t know if this is the case since I don’t know your son’s history. How does he eat? The key at 12 years old is that he WILL be hungry, but if he eats a healthy diet and gets out there and move…he could go thru the next 2-3 years and grow up in height and thin out a bit.

  65. Ellis January 14, 2013 at 01:53 #

    My name is Ellis, (male) am 18 years old. i started to gain alot of weight last year during spring. I’ve went from 127 to 157, 30 pounds. I had remained 127 through out my junior high school and highschool and all of a sudden i started to gain alot of weight. I play sports everyday and i eat alot, im starting to eat more now than before. i havent grow tall since graduating elementary school going into junior high school and i am 5.6. I would like to know your thoughts on this. Thank you

    • mbrighton January 15, 2013 at 22:57 #

      Hi Ellis, thanks very much for your question. To gain a large amount of weight in a short time requires a trip to the doctor for a checkup. Unless you can understand yourself what is going on (big changes in eating habits), then I recommend a physical with your doctor. Please let me know if you have any questions. Good luck!

  66. Pat Componi January 3, 2013 at 16:37 #

    My daughter just turned 12. She has had a very very active year. She began running, and runs apx 20 miles per week, as well as swimteam which is 3 days a week of vigorous activity. She is a vegetraian by choice (and with her doctor’s ok – but does eat fish, eggs, beans, tofu for protein) and eats ALOT! She only gained 2 lbs during the past year – which is a departure from her previous years. Her BMI is 61%. The doctor was not overly concerned because of her increased activity, but stressed that she must gain at least 7 lbs over the next year with a weight check in in the summer. My mom antenna is up and I am a bit worried – would love to know your thoughts on this.

    • mbrighton January 4, 2013 at 04:08 #

      Hi Pat! I can understand your doctor’s concern, your daughter is entering into a large height growth time. Her weight should be increasing to support this. While it may be difficult to put an actual ‘number’ on how much your daughter should gain it is important to be sure she is eating enough to support her physical activity. For her BMI, do you mean 16% rather than 61% ? Were you or her dad thin when you were her age? I wouldn’t worry too much about the actual number ‘7 lbs’ but I would focus on giving her healthy meals and filling snacks for after her runs and swims (especially after swimming-which is a good time to get a high calorie healthy snack into her). Please let me know if you have any questions and let me know about her BMI (16%?) . Thank you, Mary

  67. Claudia December 21, 2012 at 00:31 #

    Im concern of my weight, I am 15 years old, and i gain about 10 pounds and i have tried to lose them but i cant, my normal weight was 110, but now im weighting 120, and i dont know if its normal, i havent change my eating habbits and i do eat very healthy, i do excercise everyday and i cant lose them. Is it normal for a teen to gain that much weight in a short amount of time?

    • mbrighton December 23, 2012 at 23:54 #

      Hi Claudia, What period of time did you gain the weight? 1 month, 6 months? What is your current height? Have you grown in height at the same time? The winter season is also a time where we gain a few pounds because of moving less and eating more. I would continue what you are doing (eating healthy and exercising daily) and see how things are during the Spring. You are at the age where you are moving through adolescence toward becoming a young woman-your body will change with it. Perhaps this weight is what you should be at. Keep positive and let me know how you are doing, your height and in what period of time you gained your weight.

  68. mbrighton December 3, 2012 at 16:05 #

    Hi Renee, Thanks very much for your question. Do not get down on yourself, you have not failed your child and you are on the right track. It is not too late for him to be a good weight for height.
    His growth spurt, on average (for boys) will start when he is 13 years old. He is gaining weight now to support his large growth spurt. Also, he is hungrier now because of his body’s preparation for this growth spurt.
    You said you didn’t want to verbalize your concerns about your son’s need to loose weight. I understand this and I do appreciate (as I mentioned in the article) that parents need to be careful on how they verbalize comments to their children about their weight.
    I could suggest to talk to him about it in the following way:
    sit him down and discuss his physical activity (sport) schedule and use the opportunity to add how eating healthy can help him in his sport better. This is especially true with regard to hydration and eating a balanced diet. Instead of focusing on loosing weight you could use the opportunity to encourage good eating habits for optimal sport performance.
    Also, doing sport builds muscle (especially football) he will naturally be a stronger type of child than one who doesn’t do any physical activity.
    If you can keep a very good eye on how things are going in the next year or two, hopefully he will grow tall (as the doctor said) while thining out.
    Right now, at 12 years old he is laying down weight and fat for this growth spurt.
    It can be beneficial to your whole family to make healthier lifestyle changes and eat more of a balanced diet. If you make efforts, your son will follow eventually. Be strong!
    Another idea is to be quite ‘strict’ with the food and exercise plan that your family and son follow during the week and on the weekend allow those ‘forbidden or less healthy foods.’
    Hope these ideas are helpful. Please let me know how things are doing. If you have any questions, please let me know.
    Best in health, Mary

  69. Renee Griffith December 2, 2012 at 04:51 #

    Please help, I feel like such a bad parent!! Have I failed my child?
    I have a 12 year old son who is 5’3 and weighs bout 155 lbs ( his pediatrician says that he is above charts for his height and weight and he should/ will be fine once he has his growth spurt). His possible projection on height might be about 6 foot tall.
    Anyway, his weight gain started more in elementary school with all the food as rewards/ cafeteria food etc… ( not to blame cause I have my part in this cause I made a mistake of becoming a short order cook). He is pretty active with his sports being tackle football / baseball/ golf..also he is doing speed and agility training now that football season is over about 2-3 times a week..he is so very picky about the only so called healthy foods he eats is yogurt / baked chips/ ham n chz sandwich / spaghetti / he will do BBQ chicken but whines about it…we do eat out way to much and r starting to refocus that..but how do I verbalized to him about loosing weight??? He doesn’t seem to want to do what it takes to loose weight …I feel bad for him also cause most of his friends are tiny and eat and ton .. He asks me mom why can’t I eat like that ??
    Any thoughts or ideas??? Please…I am at my breaking point …I don’t know if I just sit him down and say here is what we r gonna do to get ya to the weight u need to be healthy or just kind of watch it like our pediatrician says and see what does happen during his growth spurt???
    Thank u so much in advance!!!

  70. Norma August 21, 2012 at 05:41 #

    Mary, I have a 14 year-old daughter who has put on considerable weight in the last 6 months. She is going to 8th grade this fall and I am very concerned. She eats healthy, however, she eats a lot. She runs track; approximately 12-15 miles per week and with that, she still continues to put weight on. We are an active family and all involved in some type of sport. She started her period in December 2011 and had a period in January and February 2012. She did not have another one until this month (August). I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and eventually had my thyroid removed. I am wondering if this could be a problem that is now affecting her. I don’t know how to discuss this issue with her without causing any problems with her self-esteem.

    • mbrighton August 27, 2012 at 06:30 #

      Hi Norma,
      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. You have legitimate concerns about your daughter’s weight gain. On top of that, as you said, you must be worried on the right way to approach the issue without damaging her self-esteem.
      Your medical issue with hyperthyroidism would normally cause you to lose weight. With HYPOthyroidism we have a tendency to gain weight. The thyroid controls many factors in our body, it is important to be sure that you (and your daughter) do not have any thyroid issues. A healthy 14 year old would normally not have thyroid problems, however, it is something to mention to your doctor.
      Great that your daughter participates in active sport. All teenagers go through a growth spurt with weight gain. For teenage girls, it is earlier than boys. What would be interesting is to see if your teenager has gone through her “growth spurt” yet. In fact, a good measurement of her height and weight could show where she is with her growth spurt compared to the year prior.
      Is it her weight that has increased (by the scale) or can you tell be looking at her? If she has grown in height along with her weight, she might be on the right track.
      How does her track coach at school push the kids with their weight? Is the coach a good influence on your daughter and the other teammates with regards to healthy eating and weight or does the coach push the kids too hard (either to perform or too keep their weight down)? Some kids find that the pressure from coaches make them eat more because they feel deprived.
      If I were you, I would make an appointment with your family doctor (the doctor that your daughter goes to) and explain to your daughter that it is for a checkup. Then call the doctor’s office and ask to speak with the doctor/nurse ahead of time to explain your concerns without your daughter present (or write a short letter to the doctor). This is so the doctor can better assess whether or not your daughter is in a normal growth spurt or whether she has gained too much weight in a short period of time. Also explain to the doctor (either on the phone ahead of time or in the office) that you are concerned that your thyroid dysfunction might run in the family and that you would like to be sure your daughter is okay. I know you don’t want to speak about this subject too much in front of your daughter and I believe you are right.
      The age of your daughter (14 ) is one that is semi-freedom….in the sense that she probably spends some time alone with friends, hanging out…having snacks and sodas? This is a time to be vigilant and to encourage your daughter to choose healthy snacks with her friends and while at home.
      It isn’t always easy to talk to a teenager about issues such as these. Especially girl teenagers. But I think your concerns are valid and short encouragements and education on healthy snacking and better drink choices are warranted.
      That in combination with a ‘check up’ to the doctor (with a private conversation ahead of time) to see how her growth spurt/weight is going.
      Please let me know how things are and if you have any questions.
      Best to you and your daughter,

  71. cyndi August 8, 2012 at 02:37 #

    this article really helped me my son too has gained alot of weight and DOES NOT WANT TO STAY ACTIVE .. he played football 4yrs and this yr HE IS HEAVIER OUT OF SHAPE AND DOES NOT WANT TO CONTINUE TO PLAY…………. i keep trying to feed him positive words and encourage him to be active …. he loves his xbox and i’m having a hard time having him let go of that …… i’m feeling very defeated ……. also , he has always been an excellent student and now does not like school …. or wanna do well …..whats happening to my baby ……. I don’t like it …..!!! thank you cyndi

    • mbrighton August 8, 2012 at 06:16 #

      Hi Cyndi,
      How old is your son?
      Any other life changes for him that you might know about? If your son has had quick changes in his behavior: lost interest in school, grades going down, lost interest in activities that he used to love (like sports) he may need an outside consultation with a professional to see what could be the problem. Why not have a deep talk with his doctor and an honest talk with your son? There may be deeper issues going on for him.
      I know it cannot be easy for you as his mom. Seek support with any resources for you that are available (even counselors at his school). In the meantime, stay strong and be a good ‘health’ role model for your son. Cook, eat and be healthy, including getting yourself out for some walks. Invite your son too.
      Please let me know if you have any questions and let me know how things are going.

  72. erica May 3, 2012 at 04:48 #

    my son was of average weight when he started school,he quickly became overweight and now struggles with it. Now at the age of 11 he is starting to put more weight on and broadening. I do not know how to help him without effecting his self esteem.

    • mbrighton May 3, 2012 at 22:51 #

      Hi Erica, excellent question about how to ‘be concerned’ re: your child’s weight without hurting their self-esteem. Words connected with weight can be harsh and have long-lasting affects. As I mentioned in the article, we as parents need to be careful on how we approach our children who DO need to ‘watch their weight.’ If your son is in that category, he is not alone. On average, he should start puberty in about 2 years (although you will see pre puberty signs earlier). The goal with kids like him (in general) is to keep them active and provide a good healthy diet, and hopefully he will grow into his weight during the big growth period during puberty. He is also gaining weight now to support this big growth spurt that will come.
      I could recommend, as a start, to just keep him very active. You don’t need to tell him why. This means keeping him in sports, year round, but also this means being active with him. Going together bike riding, walking, etc….
      The other step I would take is to keep a balanced diet in the house and healthy snacks /drinks (only water or milk) available. Fun foods on the weekends and for parties. You don’t have to tell him why, in fact, it could be a family effort to have a good healthy diet for everyone to follow.
      I hope this two ideas are helpful, as a start. Keep the whole family active, keep the whole family eating healthy. Check out the category on the site for “infants/children/teens”, there are a lot of other articles on child nutrition that could be helpful.
      Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Leave a Reply to mbrighton Click here to cancel reply.

CommentLuv badge

Subscribe without commenting

free tracking