How Much Should a 14 Year Old Weigh?

Fourteen year olds experience many physical changes as a result of maturation. The development of each teenager is unique due to genetics, lifestyle choices and other distinct characteristics. The differences seen among fourteen year olds make it hard to know what appropriate development looks like for the individual.  These young teenagers along with their parents may wonder about how much a fourteen-year old should weigh.

On a weight-for-age chart, the 5th to 95th percentiles show the typical weights of fourteen-year olds per CDC. In numbers, the fourteen-year old boy’s typical weight ranges from 85 to 158 pounds (lbs) and for girls is 84-160 lbs. The CDC growth charts can offer a general idea of typical weight; however, they lack specificity and should never stand alone in an assessment of health.  The weight-for-age chart does not consider anything but age and weight.

A normal weight for a fourteen year old will vary from person to person. This variation stems from the many modifiable and nonmodifiable factors that affect how much weight the body needs to function properly. Rather than pursuing a certain number on the scale that may not equate to health, teenagers should focus on developing healthy behaviors.

Continue reading to learn more about weight considerations, understanding growth charts and healthy habits for teenagers. 

What is a Healthy Weight for a 14-Year Old?

Health professionals often prefer to use BMI to assess weight rather than weight alone. BMI uses both height and weight for its calculation, but disregards other important considerations such as body composition, genetics and medical conditions. BMI is only used in conjunction with other measurements to determine the health of adolescents. You can use an online calculator to determine teen BMI, such as

Using a growth chart, BMI trends and categories help determine whether a teenager’s growth might be a cause for concern. 

On a BMI-for-age growth chart, the percentiles designates BMI into categories. 

BMI percentileCategory
Below the 5th percentile Underweight
5-84th percentileHealthy 
85-94th percentileOverweight
Greater than the 95th percentileObese

The following website offers an easy way to input measurements and figure out BMI, percentile and categorization.

Need help from a registered dietitian nutritionist for your teen’s weight? Check out my newest ebook: Healthy Weight for Teens – the right way to lose weight. As a dietitian, I’ve seen it all and this is the best way to develop healthy habits and a healthy weight.

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See also: Should I Tell My Teen They Need to Lose Weight? Tips from a Dietitian

Factors that affect teenage weight

Weight, BMI and growth charts all contribute to an appropriate assessment of a teenager’s weight. However, these measurements fail to acknowledge other key factors in understanding growth.  


There will be a large range in height among fourteen year olds. At this age some teens may near their adult height while others still await growth spurts. A five foot teen’s body will weigh significantly less than a teenager nearing six feet simply due to reduced body mass.


From birth, healthcare professionals use gender specific growth charts in consequence of the differences gender creates in growth rate. As teenagers mature, gender will increasingly impact expected body weight. 


Girls often go through puberty from ages 10-14 and boys generally experience it through ages 12-16. This sexual maturation coincides with changes in height and body composition that affect individual weights.

Body composition

Muscle mass generally weighs more than fat mass. A teenager with a higher percentage of muscle mass may see an elevated number on the scale. Sometimes a more physically fit adolescent’s weight will place them in the overweight BMI category when actually at a very healthy weight.


Genes play a role in weight gain with some studies demonstrating a link between specific genes and obesity. Genes can also affect body composition and lifestyle preferences.

Socioeconomic situation

Socioeconomic status impacts the ability of teenagers to make certain lifestyle choices that affect weight. Dietary patterns, access and time for physical activity, stress, sleep and a multitude of other weight factors vary with the socioeconomic situation of an individual.


Environment can make it more difficult or easier to maintain healthy habits. For example food deserts mean a lack of nutrient dense foods in an area; or high stress surroundings can change appetite and affect sleep. 

Medical conditions

Metabolic and hormonal disruptions due to a medical condition alter appetite, nutrient absorption and weight. Some of these conditions include diabetes, PKU, thyroid disorders and cancer.

Stage of life

Transitory periods of growth and development can dramatically alter energy needs. These temporary changes in calorie requirements can make it difficult to consume appropriate amounts of food. Other stages of life make it harder to move throughout the day, such as older age.

Understanding growth charts

Growth charts help medical professionals track weight, height and BMI per age and gender. These graphs show whether measurements follow a normal curve and aid in assessment of a teenager’s health. Deviance from a pattern of growth or abnormal finding do not automatically mean something is wrong, but signal a need to look into possible causes.

The growth charts show percentile curves in darker lines that span across the chart horizontally. These curves show a normal pattern of growth. A series of measurements indicate if adolescents follow a normal pattern of growth at the 75th percentile, the 5th percentile or wherever that teen’s growth curve sits .

A BMI at the 50th percentile means this teen measures at a BMI higher than 50 percent of teens their age. 

How to read a growth chart:

  1. Find the child’s age on the horizontal axis of the graph.
  2. Find the child’s BMI, height or weight on the vertical axis of the graph.
  3. Follow both data points to where they intersect. 
  4. Find what percentile line the point falls closest to
  5. Using past data, see if measurements follow a similar curve

Healthy habits for a teenager

The daily decisions matter far more than a number on the scale in regard to health status. One cannot always determine an exact weight outcome, but focusing on modifying behaviors allows for more achievable goals. Furthermore, lifestyle habits developed during youth boost current well-being and improves quality of life in later years. 

1. Follow principles of balance and moderation

Dietary patterns, exercise regimes and other wellness practices should incorporate balance and moderation. Even health promoting activities can harm well-being when taken to the extreme. Sustainable eating patterns should avoid strict food rules or restriction and the body requires rest days and variation with exercise.

2. Adjust the all-or-nothing and perfect mentality

The idea that success in wellness only comes from “perfection” in lifestyle choices can set up teens for dissatisfaction, frustration and giving up. A healthy lifestyle comes from including a majority of health supporting choices while also allowing for enjoyments such as a treat with friends or needed day of leisure. 

The all-or-nothing mentality may cause teenagers to practice unsustainable lifestyle habits. When these teens make a mistake not consistent with what is deemed “healthy”, they may give up on trying to make healthy choices all together. A better mindset calls for developing habits that can be maintained for a long period of time. Then, when choices deviate from the plan, the teenager can move on and continue working toward health goals.

3. Include more nutrient dense foods

Nutrient dense foods are those with more nutrients per calorie than other other foods. These types of foods support a healthy weight, fight chronic disease and improve gut health among other things. 

Nutrient dense foods: whole grains, fruit, vegetables, lean meat, seafood, eggs, unsweetened dairy, legumes (soy, lentils, beans), nuts, seeds, plant oils

4. Consume balanced meals and snacks

The body requires both macro- and micronutrients to function properly. Following the MyPlate method at eating occasions can help a teenager consume adequate amounts of these different nutrients. The myplate guide suggests making half the plate fruits and vegetables, a quarter grain and a quarter protein.

Snacks that include two or more of the nutrients carbohydrates, fat, protein and fiber promote satiety and prevent blood sugar crashes.

See also: What Should a 14-Year Old Eat in a Day?

5. Stay hydrated

Essential to life, water carries nutrients through the body, lubricates joints, assists in temperature control and flushes out waste products. Teenagers should drink water throughout the day in order to stay properly hydrated. While thirst is already a sign of dehydration, the color of urine can be an earlier indicator of hydration status. A pale yellow color shows adequate fluid intake.

Teenagers should save sweetened beverages for special occasions as they offer little nutrition. Water and other unsweetened beverages (milk, plant based milks, herbal tea, 100% fruit juice) provide more health benefits. 

6. Move more and sit less

Long periods of sedentary activity does not lead to the best health outcomes. Finding ways to move throughout the day offers physical, mental and emotional health benefits. Movement doesn’t just have to be in the form of running or weight lifting either. It also doesn’t need to be all in one long session.

Health experts recommend sixty minutes daily of moderate to vigorous activity. These types of activities include waking, hiking, yard work, dancing, swimming, jogging, sports, walking the dog, rock climbing, etc. Find the activity that feels good and try to switch it up as well to keep all the muscles strong and active.

7. Make sleep a priority

Teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Sleep is the time where the body receives needed rest, care, growth and repair. Lack of sleep will negatively affect mental and physical ability. Inadequate sleep will also harm the gut, immune system and appetite regulation.

8. Manage stress

Teenagers experience stress with school, extracurriculars, social demands and family events. While a normal part of life, chronic stress without relief harms health. Finding ways to manage daily stress will improve well-being.

Ways to manage stress include setting aside time for self-care, getting proper sleep, exercise, enjoying a favorite pastime, talking to someone, prioritizing tasks and reaching out to a licensed therapist when needed.

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Katherine Harmer, RDN

I'm a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a love for coaching others to success in their health goals, especially teenage athletes. Tennis was my sport of choice in high school. Now I'm a little bit older, a little bit smarter, and a little bit worse at tennis.

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