What is the effect of your height on your weight?

It needs no hard guessing to say that the height of a person would be proportional to his weight. So, the taller you are, the heavier you are likely to weigh.

However, this comparison can only be applied to people of different heights and the same body mass index or BMI.

This means a taller man or woman with a specific BMI would defiantly weigh more than a shorter man or woman with the same BMI.

This is so because the extra inches added to the physical being of the taller person add extra weight to the body in the form of cells, fluids, bones, collagen, and everything else that the body is comprised of.

The taller you are, the more would be the mass of different tissues in your body and so, higher would be your weight.

This is very simple to understand.

However, we can apply this logic only after taking into consideration other factors that play a role in making you weigh more or less.

Things to consider

If you are taller, then, on average, your overall frame is likely to be bigger than that of a shorter person.

However, you also need to consider how your frame is built and where the extra inches in height come from to understand the specific impact of your height on your weight.

For example; imagine a woman five feet tall, standing next to another woman who is six feet tall.

So, before we jump to the conclusion that the taller woman will have a higher weight than the shorter woman, we need to seek answers to a few questions.

  • Is the torso of the six-foot woman longer or shorter than that of the shorter woman?
  • Does the taller woman is tall simply because she has longer legs?

The answers to these questions will help in determining whether height alone can decide the weight of the person.

In this case, if the taller woman has very long legs, she is not going to have much of extra bodyweight. Also, if the shorter woman has a longer torso, then her weight is going to be comparatively higher than that of the taller woman, who would naturally have a lower weight due to her long legs.

In this case, a large percentage of the height of the taller woman has gone into the legs that may not add much to the overall bodyweight.

On the other hand, the shorter woman might be having comparatively higher weight because the part of the body that carries more weight, which is the torso, is longer in her.

This explains that height can be used to guess the bodyweight of a person only after you have taken into consideration other factors like specific heights of different body parts that carry more or less weight.

Why is BMI an important indicator for checking your expected weight in terms of height?

If you want to check whether your weight is normal and good for your overall health, simply compare it with your height. 

Body mass index (BMI) is the most commonly used weight-height index across the world. BMI is also used as an indicator to assess the health risks of a person in the future.

BMI is measured by dividing the weight of a person in kilograms by the square of the height measured in meters.

This universal use of the BMI index assumes that your weight should be in proportion to your height to be able to support the efficient functioning of all organs and avoid diseases. Researchers have examined 2 possible rationales for using Body Mass Index as a common indicator of health.

The first rationale is that BMI should be strongly correlated with the weight of the person, but independent of height.

The second rationale is that the BMI of a person captures the relationship between height and weight accurately, implying that the slope of the log weight as regressed on the log height would be 2.

These rationales are based on the research studies as discussed beneath.

The findings of research studies

A research study was conducted to assess the height-weight relationship in nearly 25 diverse populations of men and women across different countries including the US, Asia, and Europe.

The analysis also included 72 subgroups of 385,232 adults who were 25 years and older from diverse populations.

The BMI was correlated with the weight of all participants in this study.  A negative correlation was found between height and BMI in 31 subgroups of men and 32 groups of women.

This study has revealed that, in most populations, BMI may not be dependent on height. Also, it showed that weight does not always vary with the square of the height measured by the formula of BMI.

The relationship between height and weight also differs significantly between men and women. So, BMI standards can not be used as the sole basis for determining the weight of the person. [1]

To put the findings of this study in simpler words, the height of a person can not be considered a single factor influencing his or her weight. Being a specific number of inches tall may not always mean your weight would be in a specific range only.

The importance of BMI as a marker of health

Your weight depends on several factors other than your height such as the lengths of your legs and torso, your dietary habits, physical activities, and genetics.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean height and weight are not correlated.

It only means that height alone can not determine the weight of the person. And one more thing that can be said with utmost certainty here is that having a weight higher or lower than what your BMI recommends based on your height can definitely affect your risk of developing different diseases.

This means BMI does not tell how much your weight WILL BE based on your height but tells how much your weight SHOULD BE based on your height.

It provides a benchmark to assess your health and risk of diseases.

A higher BMI would suggest your weight is more than what it should be for your height indicating obesity and a higher risk of related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart attacks.

Having a lower BMI, on the other hand, suggests that your weight is lower than what it should be for your height. This might be suggestive of malnutrition and the presence of eating disorders or any illness that causes severe weight loss.

Average weight-height relationship based on age

It has been found that the relative rate of rise in weight measured in kilograms is about 1% of the rise in height in centimeters until we stop growing taller. Also, the weight is around 9 percent lower in women than the men of the same height.

The height-weight analysis of about 160,000 students has indicated that the weight of adults is relatively stable between the ages of 21 and 29 years for men and 17 and 29 years for women. [2]

So, these ages can be used to establish the weight-height relationship in adults.


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15761809/
  2. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/13/5/318/4787155?redirectedFrom=PDF