Body Basics Whats Your Healthy Weight

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The answer isn't as simple as stepping onto a bathroom scale, then comparing your weight to a chart. Your own healthy weight is one that's right for you. It may be quite different from someone else's weight, even if you are the same height, gender, and age.

What makes the difference? Your genetic makeup plays a role because it determines your height and the size and shape of your body frame. A genetic link to body fat also may exist. Of course, genetics isn't the only reason why weight differs from person to person. Your metabolic rate, the rate at which your body burns energy, makes a difference. So does your body composition. Muscle burns more calories than body fat does. Your level of physical activity and what you eat both play an important role, too.

So what's your healthy weight? That depends. Determining your right weight takes several things into account: (1) your body mass index, or your weight in relation to your height; (2) the location and amount of body fat you have; and (3) your overall health and risks for weight-related problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

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