What is waist-height ratio?
Waist to height ratio is an indicator of your risks for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and hypertension. It is obtained by dividing waist size by height. Men and women should keep their waist circumference, no more than half their height.
Waist to height ratio should not be confused with the 'Waist to Hip Ratio' which is used to measure body fat distribution
. Both, however, can be used to screen possible health problems. Waist circumference has a direct correlation with the risk of developing heart disease, because it measures the critical levels of fat accumulated between internal organs and the torso, that is, visceral fat. Visceral fat is directly connected to strokes and heart disease. Greater the waist circumference, the higher the morbidity and mortality from heart disease, diabetes, stroke and hypertension.
The waist-height ratio indicator is equally valid for children and adults, irrespective of age, although the parameters for waist circumference, height and waist-height ratio could vary between races and ethnicities.
Use Medindia's Waist to Height Ratio Calculator
to know your body shape, waist and height measurements.
What is your body shape? ‘APPLE’ or ‘PEAR’?Apple shaped bodies
are those with bigger waists and excess weight around the abdomen, whereas a pear shaped body is one that carries more weight around the hips with a narrower waist. ‘Apples’ have more fat in the waist region compared to ‘pears’.
A pear shaped body is believed to reduce risk of diabetes, heart disease and other metabolic complications
. On the other hand, an apple shaped person carries excess abdominal fat (close to the heart, liver and kidneys) and is therefore at far greater health risk. Waist Circumference is considered a risk factor for heart disease, irrespective of height and build, in the following cases:
How to measure waist-height ratio
- Men: Over 94 cm (approximately 37 inches)
- Women: Over 80 cm (approximately 31.5 inches)
- Place the tape measure directly on your skin
- Measure your waist by placing the tape horizontally halfway between your lowest rib and the top of your hipbone
- Breathe out normally and take the measurement.
- Hold the tape lightly so as to not compress your skin
- Measure your correct height by standing erect.
Some Interesting Facts
- Waist-Height Ratio is a good early assessment tool for cardiometabolic risk.
- India ranks No.1 worldwide in diabetes incidence. Thus, in India, the Waist-Height Ratio can act as a perfect indicator to assess heart health risks.
- Experts claim that the waist height ratio is a much more accurate measurement of weight than the tried and tested Body Mass Index (BMI)
- If you can keep your waist circumference to less than half of your height, you will reduce your risk of conditions associated with abdominal fat, such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes(High/low blood sugar).
- For people under 40, a waist to height ratio of over 0.5 can be critical, while for people between 40 and 50 years of age, the critical value is between 0.5 and 0.6. For people over 50 the critical value begins at 0.6.
- Your waist measurements are the most accurate just after you wake up from 7-8 hours of sleep.