Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Obesity and Weight Management

How can I add body fat to my body?

12/06/2006

Question:

I am 110lbs and 5`3 I am 15 years old. I eat every two to three hours. But nothing, except stretch marks on my inner thigh, butt, and hips. I have a stomach that sticks out after I eat, and slightly rolls over my pants when I sit down, my sides also stick out. But when I stand up I look normal. Please give me some ways to add fat where it doesn`t look weird. I play softball and volleyball but other than that I lay around all the time. Will my eating catch up to me or can I make this gaining process faster. Please help me

Answer:

This is an interesting question. I will assume that you are a female. If so, based on your height and weight, you shouldn't want to add extra fat to your body.

The body mass index (BMI) is a measure of how your weight matches up with your body frame. In your case, the BMI is 19.5, which is between the 25th and 50th percentiles for a 15 year old. That means you are nearly a perfect weight for your height (50th percentile is ideal), just slightly on the thin side of ideal.

With two-thirds of the American population overweight and one-third obese, most American women would love to have your body. But if you look down the road, it is likely that you will get your wish. Most women accumulate weight steadily after they stop growing in puberty. You can expect to gain another 5-10 lbs over the next 5 years, for instance. That will give you the extra fat that you are asking about.

The slight bulge of the abdomen (stomach area) after eating is commonly seen among people who are thin. You can shape your body and flatten your stomach by staying active and toning or "sculpting" your body with moderate weight training. Muscular strength around the abdomen, so-called core training, can lessen the post-meal prominence of the belly.

Most women continue to add at least a few pounds per year, accelerating the process during pregnancy and as they approach menopause. Losing excess weight can be extremely frustrating. So celebrate the balance of your height and weight. Stay active, keep fit and pay attention to good nutrition to keep yourself looking and feeling your best.

If the question comes from a 15 year old male, the answer is a little different. Females finish their growth spurt by age 14 yrs, generally. But males continue to add height through age 16 yrs, some even beyond that. So a 15 year old male can expect to increase both height and weight over the next couple of years.

The weight gain between 15 and 21 years is quite aggressive, also. You can expect to gain as much as 30 more pounds in that time, based on your position on the 25th percentile for weight and 50th percentile BMI. Mostly that will be muscle mass, the result of male hormones.

For normal weight males and females, adding excess fat is not a good thing. Recent studies have shown health risks rise as body fat increases above the recommended amounts. The BMI is an indicator of body fat. Whether the question comes from a male or a female, your BMI indicates that you are in the healthy part of the body weight range. And you should stay there.

For more information:

Go to the Obesity and Weight Management health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Robert D Murray, MD Robert D Murray, MD
Clinical Professor of Health Behaviors & Health Promotion
Retired Professor of Human Nutrition
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University