How do I know if I have a weight problem?

Many young people become obsessed with their weight but getting weighed doesn’t really tell you that much, as weight can change quickly on a daily basis depending on when you last ate or drank and even if you need to go to the toilet. Exercise can also change your weight as muscle mass increases with exercise you do and muscle can weigh up to three times more that fat. A more accurate measure of whether your weight is within a normal range is by recording your Body Mass Index (BMI). This needs to be calculated but there is a calculator to work this out for you if you can provide your height and weight below or at the link.

Take note the categories outlined relate to adults. Now take a look at the grids provided and look under the column for your age group. The BMI in the ‘norm range’ row is the expected BMI for your age.

BMI for girls and young women

Age 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Underweight 12.9 12.9 12.9 13.2 13.4 13.6 14 14.5 14.9 15.4 15.9 16.3 16.7
Low weight 14.6 14.7 14.8 15.2 15.4 15.6 16.1 16.7 17.3 17.8 18.4 18.8 19.2
Norm range 15.5 15.5 15.8 16 16.3 16.8 17.4 18.1 18.7 19.4 19.9 20.4 20.8
Overweight 17.1 17.3 17.8 18.2 19.3 19.9 20.7 21.7 22.6 23.3 23.9 24.4 24.7
Very overweight 19.1 19.7 20.4 21.3 22.9 24.1 25.4 26.7 27.8 28.6 29.1 29.4 29.7

BMI for boys and young men

Age 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Underweight 13 13 13.2 13.4 13.6 13.7 14 14.4 14.8 15.4 15.8 16.4 16.8
Low weight 14 14 14.1 14.1 14.3 14.5 14.8 15.3 15.7 16.3 16.9 17.4 17.8
Norm range 15.6 15.6 15.7 15.8 16.1 16.4 16.9 17.5 18.1 18.7 19.4 20 20.6
Overweight 17.3 17.6 18 18.3 19.2 19.8 20.6 21.2 21.9 22.6 23.3 23.9 24.5
Very overweight 19.1 19.8 20.6 21.5 22.8 24 25.1 26 26.8 27.6 28.3 28.9 29.4

If your BMI does not match the recommended BMI for your age then please do not worry. If you follow the tips in the Nutrition and healthy eating section on the website, this will help you. There is no need to ‘diet’, as dieting means that you drastically reduce the number of calories you eat. By doing this you will also decrease the number of nutrients you eat which you need for healthy growth and development. If you are in orange shaded areas, then this is the time to make changes to your eating patterns to prevent further weight loss or weight gain. All the web pages are designed to help you do this. If you are in the red shaded areas it may be useful for you to seek professional help to explain what this means for you.

SHINE Recruitment Criteria for Young People

After reading the information you may feel that SHINE is a programme you would like to get involved in either for yourself (self referral) or for your child (parent/guardian referral) or it may be a programme that you think may benefit someone you are working with (youth workers, school nurse, GP, social worker).  We will accept referrals online but please check you meet the criteria before submission. Once we receive your referral the family will be contacted within 24 hrs on a weekday.

Criteria for Referral

  • Male or female aged between 10 years and 17 years (mixed groups)
  • Very Overweight Body Mass Index  (percentile > 98th) – if you do not know this please check on the calculator above
  • May have other disorders i.e. type 2 diabetes, asthma, as we have specialist nurses to assist with the programme
  • Some indication that the young person’s weight problem is affecting their school work i.e. educationally, or fearful of doing PE, or there may be suspicions that they are being bullied or harassed or socially excluded because of their weight problem
  • Low confidence, low self esteem or body dissatisfaction
  • Must be committed and motivated to attend all 12 sessions and to give feedback verbally and in questionnaires (special circumstances considered, but will prevent another needy person gaining a place if they drop out after a few weeks)
  • Must be willing to try a range of physical activities, but will never be forced to do anything they do not wish to
  • Parental support – need to attend the Parent SHINE induction programme – desirable but not essential

GP’s who refer will need to take responsibility for recruitment and selection and seeking consent from both the young person and their families.  Once the recruits and their families are selected, please complete and submit the referral form or contact Deborah Palmer (email) who will arrange to meet with those wishing to take part, so that everyone is fully informed of the programme and the expectations. Recruits will be offered an assessment appointment and will be signposted to relevant interventions based on individual needs using a stepped care approach.

Submitting a referral

You can complete a referral by downloading and filling in the SHINE Referral Sheet and emailing to SHINE’s Programme Co-ordinator.

For more information on SHINE’s programme for children and young people with learning difficulties, read the Recruitment Criteria and Referral Sheet here.