Why is waist-height ratio important?
The waist to height ratio is a measure of the distribution of body fat. Higher values of waist-height ratio indicate a higher risk of obesity-related cardiovascular diseases since it is correlated with abdominal obesity. Studies have found that waist-height ratio is a good indicator of the risk of heart attack, stroke or death, yet it hasn't been proved to measure the risk of diabetes. Other indicators of abdominal obesity are body mass index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio. Based on the waist to height ratio, you can allocate yourself to one of these groups:
- Extremely slim -
<0.34both for men and women
- Healthy -
0.43 to 0.52for men and
0.42 to 0.48for women
- Overweight -
0.53 to 0.57for men and
0.49 to 0.53for women
- Very overweight -
0.58 to 0.62for men and
0.54 to 0.57for women
- Morbidly obese -
>0.63for men and
How to measure your waist?
According to the WHO's data gathering protocol, the waist circumference should be measured at the midpoint between the last palpable rib and the top of the iliac crest, using a stretch‐resistant tape.
Practically, the measurements are usually taken at the smallest circumference of the natural waist, usually just above the belly button.
What does waist to height ratio calculator do?
The waist-height ratio is calculated as waist measurement divided by height measurement
W ÷ H. For example, a person with a 28 in (71 cm) waist and 5 ft 7 in (170 cm) height has a waist–height ratio of
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.
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:
- Men: Over 94 cm (approximately 37 inches)
- Women: Over 80 cm (approximately 31.5 inches)
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.