I have some more thoughts on this issue due to a recent experience of dd1's. She is 13 and, after homeschooling all of her life, has just started 8th grade in a public school.
Earlier this week, the school had all the kids line up while they recorded their heights and weights. I'm not sure whether this was for some kind of study or to get actual information regarding kids who might be at risk. But anyhow, dd measured in at 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed in at 145 lbs., which is well within the normal range for her height, and her friend measured in at 5 feet and 1/2 inch tall and weighed in at 160 lbs.
And her friend made the comment, "I'm not fat -- I'm just curvy," and dd agreed with her and said, "Yeah, I'm a lot taller than you but I'm not curvy." And then her friend told dd that she (dd) was "getting there" but she "wasn't there" yet -- that she was still at "that awkward stage" and "hadn't filled out" yet.
It seems to me that the height and weight charts are pretty unfair to girls who are very curvy, and maybe also to those who are large boned and/or have a lot of muscle tone. Dd's friend is a skateboarder and sounds pretty healthy and athletic, and it does seem unfair to me that she may go through her life labeled "obese" or "unhealthy" simply because of where she fits on the charts.
At the same time, it was rather astounding to me that my tall, slender, healthy, and very active dd, who just so happens to fit perfectly into the weight-for-height recommendations, also walked away from this experience feeling like there was something lacking in her physique, and like she was "awkward."
With this in mind, I really think that focusing on eating natural, healthy foods and on finding and making time for physical activities that we enjoy is much, much healthier than focusing on weight.
I hope my dd will eventually feel this way, too. As of now, both she and her friend have decided that they want to lost 15 lbs. this year.
apparently being overweight and fat is not the same thing anymore. they are making a distinction. in light with Susan what you say.
so this is getting into a realm i am not sure.
i guess fat is body fat and i dont think the tool for measuring that is not accurate for teens.
i guess what matters really is the body fat measurement. but the general assumption is overweight is usually caused by body fat. which is so not true for many families including mine.
Yes, and muscle weighs a lot more than fat, so it seems like someone with a higher proportion of fat to muscle could actually weigh in within a healthy range and still have too much fat, while someone with a higher proportion of muscle could weigh in as obese and still be healthy.
I also wonder about things like body width. My 8-year-old is very wide in her frame -- her shoulders and hips -- moreso than other kids her age and even some others who are taller than her. It seems to me that it would be healthy and necessary for someone with a wider frame to weigh more than someone who's very narrow. It's not like you can shave off your bones!