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WHAT IS YOUR WAIST TO HIP RATIO? A RATIO FOR HEALTH

WHAT IS YOUR WAIST TO HIP RATIO (WHR): A RATIO FOR HEALTH    

The WHR has been used as an indicator or measure of health, and the risk of developing serious health conditions. Research shows that people with "apple-shaped" bodies (with more weight around the waist) face more health risks than those with "pear-shaped" bodies who carry more weight around the hips.

MEASURE YOUR WAIST AND MEASURE YOUR HIP, THEN DIVIDE YOUR WAIST NUMBER BY YOUR HIP NUMBER.  THIS WILL GIVE YOU YOUR HEALTH NUMBER.

WHR is used as a measurement of obesity, which in turn is a possible indicator of other more serious health conditions. The WHO states that abdominal obesity is defined as a waist–hip ratio above 0.90 for males and above 0.85 for females, or a body mass index (BMI) above 30.0. The National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) states that women with waist–hip ratios of more than 0.8, and men with more than 1.0, are at increased health risk because of their fat distribution.

DGSP

WHO

NIDDK

Women

Men

Women

Men

Women

Men

under-weight

?

?

?

?

?

?

normal weight

< 0.80

< 0.90

?

?

?

?

over-weight

0.80–0.84

0.90–0.99

?

?

?

?

obesity

> 0.85

> 1.00

> 0.85

> 0.90

> 0.80

> 1.00


WHR has been found to be a more efficient predictor of mortality in older people (>75 years of age) than waist circumference or BMI. If obesity is redefined using WHR instead of BMI, the proportion of people categorized as at risk of heart attack worldwide increases threefold. The body fat percentage is considered to be an even more accurate measure of relative weight. Of these three measurements, only the waist–hip ratio takes account of the differences in body structure. Hence, it is possible for two women to have vastly different body mass indices but the same waist–hip ratio, or to have the same body mass index but vastly different waist–hip ratios.

WHR has been shown to be a better predictor of cardiovascular disease than waist circumference and body-mass index. However, other studies have found waist circumference, not WHR, to be a good indicator of cardiovascular risk factors, body fat distribution, and hypertension in type 2 diabetes.

 


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