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Body Weight

Summary

Do you know if your current weight is healthy? "Underweight", "normal", "overweight", and "obese" are all labels for ranges of weight. Obese and overweight mean that your weight is greater than it should be for your health. Underweight means that it is lower than it should be for your health. Your healthy body weight depends on your sex and height. For children, it also depends on your age.

A sudden, unexpected change in weight can be a sign of a medical problem. Causes for sudden weight loss can include

  • Thyroid problems
  • Cancer
  • Infectious diseases
  • Digestive diseases
  • Certain medicines

Sudden weight gain can be due to medicines, thyroid problems, heart failure, and kidney disease.

Good nutrition and exercise can help in losing weight. Eating extra calories within a well-balanced diet and treating any underlying medical problems can help to add weight.

Start Here

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Related Issues

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in
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  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (American Thyroid Association) Also in

Specifics

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in

Health Check Tools

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Also in

Statistics and Research

  • (National Center for Health Statistics)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health) Also in

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • Birth Weight: MedlinePlus Health Topic From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (UpToDate)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Teenagers

  • (Children's Hospital Boston)
  • (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Seniors

  • (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)

Patient Handouts