Has your teen gained too much weight in too little time? Have you ever wondered, What is the average weight for 15-year-olds? Or are you curious as to why tall or muscular children need more energy to function?
If your answer to any of the above is yes, you’ve come to the right place!
Average Weight for a 15-Year-Old
Ideal body weight can serve as a guide to help you realize your body’s full potential. Knowing and maintaining a healthy body weight for your age can help you stay fit, healthy, and active.
A Body Mass Index (BMI) score measures body mass compared to body size. For children, we calculate the BMI score using a standard reference point. This standard is based on the results of nationwide growth experiments conducted in the U.S from the 1960s to 1980s. A representative sample of young boys and girls was used during these experiments to calculate average weight by age, height, and gender.
According to guidelines developed ever since, for a 15-year-old male teen with a height of 170 cm (about 5’7’’), the average weight is approximately 123 pounds. For a girl the same age and with a height of up to 160 cm (about 5’3’’), the average weight is 115 pounds.
Is Your 15-Year-Old Over- or Under-Weight?
BMI for children and teens is also known as BMI-for-age. Although we calculate BMI using the same formula for children and adults, we interpret the scores differently for children.
If your child’s BMI corresponds to less than the 5th percentile on the CDC Clinical Growth Charts, your child is likely to be underweight. On the other hand, a BMI score falling between the 85th to 95th percentile indicates the possibility of your child being overweight.
Therefore, a healthy BMI score should fall anywhere between the 5th and 85th percentile on the chart. Any score above the 95th percentile for a teenager may be a sign of childhood obesity.
How to Calculate Your BMI-For-Age
To calculate your BMI, you need to know your weight (in kilograms) and height (in meters). Using a simple formula (BMI = Kg/m2), it is possible to determine whether you are at a healthy weight for your height at any given age.
Research shows that a 15-year-old with a higher than average BMI is more likely to develop health problems in adulthood.
That is especially true for heart diseases and diabetes (Type 2), as these conditions are affected by your metabolism.
What Impacts the BMI of a 15-Year-Old?
A number of individual-level and environmental factors can affect a 15-year-old’s weight, and as a result, their BMI score.
Girls and boys tend to grow at different rates during and beyond puberty. This means that the distribution of body fat and muscle mass, as well as the level of bone density, are likely to be different for a 15-year-old boy versus a girl of the same age.
2. The Gene Factor
In most cases, genetics will play a key role in deciding how tall, thin, broad, or heavy a 15-year-old is. Therefore, to a certain extent, a teenager’s body type or frame is largely beyond their control.
What’s important to know is that genetics can also determine which weight regulation strategies work best for each individual. Therefore, sound knowledge of one’s genetic profile can help identify more effective ways of managing one’s body weight at any age.
3. The Role of Diet
Whether a 15-year-old is over- or under-weight is bound to be influenced by their dietary habits and lifestyle. Therefore, eating nutritionally rich meals at the right intervals also determines children’s weight during growing years.
In fact, nutritionists and pediatricians have developed elaborate growth and food charts for all ages. These charts show a healthy body weight based on age, gender, and ethnicity.
4. The Role of Hormones
With the onset of puberty, a child undergoes a number of common and visible physical changes. One of these changes may be a sudden gain or reduction in body weight among teenagers. During this time, substantial changes in the child’s weight are likely to occur within a short time span.
These changes in body weight occur as nutritional needs increase in order to prepare the body for a growth spurt. According to one study, low levels of specific growth hormones can actually lead to an increased risk of obesity among teenagers.
Tips for Weight Maintenance
It is important for one’s physical health and mental well-being to maintain a healthy BMI score at any age. Whether you are a 15-year-old with developmental needs or a middle-aged man who wants to lose a few pounds, weight management pays off.
Individual differences and exceptional cases aside, the following four simple tips can help you manage your weight.
1. You Are What You Eat!
To maintain that ideal body weight, it is important to consume a well-balanced diet. In scientific terms, this means you will need to consume the right types of foods in the right proportions at the right time. Whether through carbs (and we certainly don’t mean the sinfully sugary ones) or protein, a balanced diet will ensure your nutritional needs are always met.
Personalized food plans can help you lose, gain, or maintain weight by identifying the right nutrition for specific body needs. That process takes stock of factors like age, gender, and overall health. Being conscious of one’s meal choices can go a long way in helping one stay fit and healthy. After all, your body is your temple!
2. Regular Exercise
A regular gym-goer is far more likely to stay healthy for longer than someone who has never exercised at all.
Physical exertion promotes the development of healthy bones and muscles in children and teens. Be it an intense session of cardio at the gym or an hour playing your favorite sport, every little counts. Even less intensive forms of physical exercise, like walking, can have long-term health benefits. Therefore, regularly exercising can help maintain a healthy body weight among children and adults alike.
3. Use of Food Supplements
Food supplements are a great way to give your body what it needs for optimum growth and function.
In most cases, a well-balanced diet should be enough to provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it requires.
Alternatively, a doctor may recommend artificial supplements as a way to enhance metabolism and improve bodily function. But they will only do that following a thorough health exam.
Figuring out which vitamins or minerals the body needs at different stages of its development is a job for your GP or doctor. But you can always learn more about the vitamin-based needs of teenagers on the internet.
4. Keep Yourself Motivated!
Following any diet or exercise regime requires strong willpower. Remember, for a dramatic transformation, you will need to eat right and work out on a daily basis!
Some young people find motivation in self-help books; others feel inspired by emulating their favorite role models. Whether you want to gain, lose, or maintain weight, staying motivated is the key. At the end of the day, mental and physical efforts work in tandem to maintain healthy body weight.