Recent Blog Articles
More movement, better memory
Improving access to hearing aids
Can mindfulness change your brain?
Five lifestyle factors that can help prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease
Transient ischemic attacks: Varied symptoms, all important
5 inflammation-fighting food swaps
Is IBD an underrecognized health problem in minority groups?
Sickle cell disease in newborns and children: What families should know and do
COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens: What we do — and don’t — know
Happy trails: Take a hike, now
Ask the doctor: Why am I carrying more of my weight around my middle?
Q. I am postmenopausal, and I've noticed that my belly isn't as flat as it once was, even though my weight hasn't changed much in the past 15 years and I am healthy. Is this change in shape something I am just going to have to get accustomed to, or can I do something about it?
A. Your weight may not have changed over the years, but has your height changed? One of the normal changes associated with aging is some loss of height. This is due to a loss of volume in the intervertebral discs of the spine. (Some women lose height because of osteoporotic fractures of their vertebrae; however, that is not a normal change of aging.) You can lose up to several inches in height (some women lose even more) as you get older. The contents of your abdomen then have less vertical volume to inhabit. That volume has to expand somewhere, so it moves horizontally.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.