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Facts about Healthy Weight

What’s a healthy weight? You can get a lot of information about weight from friends and the media, but it might not be the most accurate. The truth is that everyone grows and matures differently during their teenage years. Your own weight may fluctuate when you have growth spurts, or during periods when you’re more active than others. The important thing is to keep your weight in a healthy range over a period of time. Being underweight isn’t good for your health. Neither is being overweight. And being obese severely overweight can have big time consequences.

Unhealthy weight gain is more than a cosmetic issue. Overweight teens are more likely to be overweight adults, and the chances of developing serious health problems like heart disease or diabetes increase along with your waistline. Excess body fat is also linked with an increased risk of some cancers especially those of the bowel, pancreas, kidney, endometrium (womb), and breast. That’s why you should try to stay as lean as possible without becoming underweight.

Hi5 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Weight

  • Healthy bodies come in many shapes and sizes. Two people the same height and age may have a different healthy weight thanks to their muscle, fat, and bones. Your doctor or a school nurse or nutrition counselor can answer any questions you have about your weight, but you can start with the Dietitians of Canada 5 Steps to Healthy Eating for Youth 12 to 18.
  • Learn to cook! Move beyond mac & cheese. Take some cooking classes or just practice at home. When you cook your own meals, you’ll be more conscious of what goes into them.
  • Get moving. Teens and young adults should be on the move every day. It doesn’t have to be sports. Walking to school, taking the dog for a run, riding your bike to the store all help burn calories and build muscle. For more tips on how to up your activity level, visit Healthy Families BC.
  • Watch your intake. It’s not just what you eat, it’s how much and how often that can affect your weight. Here is a handy Food Tracker just for teen girls and teen boys. Use these guides to help you stay on track with your nutrition.
  • Stand Up. Now Sit Down. Limit TV, game, and computer time to less than 2 hours a day. Chances are you’re sitting in a desk at school, so try to take advantage of your free time to get some exercise. If you’re going to sit down, try to do it at mealtimes. Grabbing fast food and gobbling it while running from one place to another is a sure way to add empty calories.