ZocdocAnswersI am 17 years of age, I weigh 87 pounds, and I'm around 5'. Is this normal?

Question

I am 17 years of age, I weigh 87 pounds, and I'm around 5'. Is this normal?

I do eat a lot and I like to think its healthy but I just can't seem to gain any weight.

Answer

Thank you for your question and I recommend that you discuss this with your doctor. One of the most common questions that is asked on this site is in regards to whether or not a person is normal. Unfortunately, it is also one of the hardest to answer without knowing a person's past medical history. Your question is one of the most classic examples, as the answerer has no idea about your past history, the size of your parents and other family members, etc. For example, if the others in your family are large, and you are small, then this would be a sign that there may be a medical explanation for your size. The converse would also be true, and so the context is very important. Speaking with your pediatrician can provide valuable information, as he or she would have access to your growth chart and would be able to map out how your growth is relative to yourself and the growth of others your age and gender. This can then be reviewed with you by percentiles, and would provide clues about potential areas of concern or the future need for testing. You can review some growth charts online, but I would advise you to please discuss this question with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.