Harvard Women's Health Watch

Ask the doctor: I'm shorter than I once was but I weigh the same. Am I now too heavy for my height?

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Q. I am more than an inch shorter than I was a few years ago, but my weight has remained constant. I noticed that my body mass index (BMI) is just above 25. Does that mean than I am now overweight even though I haven't put on any pounds?

A. Technically, it does. Generally, people with a BMI between 25 and 30 are considered overweight, and those with a BMI of 30 and over are considered obese.

But your BMI, which is based on your height and weight alone, doesn't tell the whole story. It doesn't reveal how much of your body weight is composed of muscle and how much is fat. Nor does it indicate how your weight is distributed—for example, whether you tend to carry more weight in your abdomen or in your thighs and buttocks.

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