What Is a Healthy Body?

What Really Makes a Body Ideal?

Bodies come in all shapes and sizes but for teens, the pressure to conform to a highly idealized body type can be overwhelming. Everywhere teens turn they are met with body size expectations that are not only unrealistic but often unhealthy. It’s time for a reality check.

Some people are tall, some are short, some people have curvy figures, others are straight and angular, and some people are naturally thin while others are genetically programmed to hold on to fat. So just what is normal?

What Is a Normal Body?

A normal body is a healthy body and what is healthy varies from individual to individual. A healthy body is best determined by looking at a comparison of height, weight, body fat ratio, fitness, diet, and hydration.

Healthy Body Guidelines

There are some guidelines that healthcare professionals have developed to help laypeople understand what a healthy body should be like. The most commonly used methods of defining a healthy body are through height/weight ranges, body mass index level, and muscle-to-fat ratio.

To learn more about the different ways that a healthy body is measured see:

  • Understanding Body Fat Ratios
  • Finding Your Body Mass Index
  • Healthy Height-to-Weight Ranges

The Importance of a Healthy Body Image

It is important for teens to be encouraged to develop healthy attitudes toward their bodies. Teens should be taught that the ideal body is a healthy body.

All body types are beautiful. The only time teens should worry about their body is when it is unhealthy. Teens should be taught that obesity is unhealthy but not ugly. They should be reminded that skinny bodies can be unhealthy too. By focusing more on health and less on looks teens can see their bodies in a whole new light.

Recognizing Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can happen when a healthy body image is lacking. Teens are especially susceptible to developing eating disorders. If you think you or a friend may suffer from an eating disorder get professional help.

Do you know about eating disorders? Take our True or False Eating Disorder Quiz to find out.

Worry that you or someone you know may be suffering from an eating disorder? Take our Eating Disorder Assessment Quiz to see if it’s time to get professional help.