Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight as an adolescent and teenager decrease the odds of becoming obese later in life. This helps to protect you from developing obesity-related diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Knowing what the definition of a normal weight is for a girl who is 5'4'' can help you determine if your body weight is where it should be.
You can determine a normal body weight through methods such as ideal body weight equations, body mass index (BMI) charts, height-weight tables and body composition assessment.
While each of these methods can tell you an exact number that is average for a girl who is 5'4,'' it is more accurate to think of an ideal weight range rather than one number.
Ideal Body Weight Equations
The first equation for calculating ideal body weight is Broca's index. This method starts at 5 feet tall and assigns 100 pounds at that height. In other words, a girl who is 5 feet tall should weigh 100 pounds After 5 feet, you add 5 pounds for every inch over 5 feet for girls.
According to the Broca's index, at 5 feet, 4 inches tall, a girl should weigh 120 pounds A more recent equation known as the Devine formula utilizes the same concept, except with kilograms. The ideal body weight according to this formula is equal to 54.7 kg or 120.59 pounds.
Body Mass Index
Body mass index (BMI) is a measurement of your weight with respect to your height. There is a standard BMI chart that assigns a number (BMI) based on your height and weight, but this chart is only for adults ages 20 and up. This was set up to indicate recommended weight ranges based on the equation of weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.
There's a separate BMI equation for kids ages 2 through 19, but it is not considered a diagnostic tool. Rather, BMI for kids and teens is used to screen for potential weight and health-related issues.
If you are 20 and over, you can use the standard BMI chart, which classifies your index number into one of the following categories:
- Underweight: >18.5
- Normal weight: 18.5 to 24.9
- Overweight: 25.0 to 29.9
- Obese: 30 and above
Going by this chart, a normal BMI for a female who is 5'4'' is 18.5 to 24.9, which equates to a weight range of 110 to 145 pounds.
Metropolitan Life Tables
The Metropolitan Life tables are one of the oldest methods of determining a normal weight range. These tables were created in 1943 with a goal of defining desirable weights according to body frame size.
Body frame sizes are determined by elbow breadth or width. Each height has a corresponding weight range according to the body frame size. Those who measure 5 feet, 4 inches and have small frames should weigh 114 to 127 pounds, a medium frame should weigh 124 to 138 pounds and a large frame should aim for between 134 and 151 pounds. The tables were designed with adults in mind and would not figure accurately for children or adolescents.
While body composition or body fat percentage does not correspond directly to a body weight, it can be a helpful measure of health status. Body composition is measured through hydrostatic weighing, electrical impedance and skinfold measurements with calipers.
There's a wide range of what is considered a normal body fat percentage, with some health experts citing a normal range of 25 to 31 percent and others classifying a normal body fat range as 14.5 to 25 percent. Since this method typically requires a fitness or health expert to administer, it's a good idea to ask them what a normal range is.