I'm 13. My BMI said I'm overweight, but I'm very athletic and not at all fat. It's kind of depressing to be told I'm overweight when I don't think I am.
Body mass index (also known as BMI) is just one of the ways to estimate how much body fat a person has. BMI can be useful — but it's not perfect.
For kids and teens, it can be tricky to tell what a BMI reading means. That's because kids' weights and amounts of body fat can change quickly as they go through puberty. Sometimes athletic kids who build muscle with exercise can have BMI measurements that say "overweight" when they don't have too much body fat at all.
The best thing you can do is talk with your doctor or school nurse for help interpreting what your BMI number means. There's a good chance you'll find out that you're fine!
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2013
Although we can't reply personally, you may see your question posted to this page in the future. If you're looking for medical advice, a diagnosis, or treatment, consult your doctor or other qualified medical professional. If this is an emergency, contact emergency services in your area.
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
|American Medical Association (AMA) The AMA has made a commitment to medicine by making doctors more accessible to their patients. Contact the AMA at: American Medical Association|
515 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60610
|Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Offering nutrition information, resources, and access to registered dietitians.|
|What's the Right Weight for My Height? One of the biggest questions guys and girls have is whether they're the right weight. Because the body is growing and changing so much during adolescence, it can be tough to answer this question.|
|Nutrition & Fitness Center Visit our nutrition and fitness center for teens to get information and advice on food, exercise, and sports.|
|Strength Training Is working out with weights safe for teens? The best way to build muscle tone and definition is to combine aerobic and flexibility exercises with the right kind of strength training.|
|Body Mass Index (BMI) One of the biggest questions guys and girls have as they grow and develop is whether they're the right weight. One place to start is by learning about body mass index, or BMI.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.