Question: What is my Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR) and what does it tell me about my body?
Answer: The latest research confirms that your Waist-to-Hip Ratio (also sometimes referred to as Hip-to-Waist Ratio or Hip-Waist-Ratio) provides a more accurate indication of obesity and the health risks associated with weight problems than your BMI (Body Mass Index), which has traditionally been used as the main indicator to tell you whether you need to lose weight or not. People are genetically programmed to store extra fat in different areas of the body. Some people carry more fat around the waist and upper body (apple body shape) while others tend to build up more fat around the hips (pear body shape). Apple shaped people are at higher risk for heart disease and diabetes than their pear shaped counterparts.
Your Waist-to-Hip Ratio is calculated by dividing the circumference of your waist by that of your hips. When you measure yourself, stand relaxed and do not suck in your stomach. Measure your waist around the narrowest part (normally just above the belly button) and your hips around the widest part. Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement using a calculator. Use the Waist-to-Hip Ratio Chart provided below to see how close you are to the ideal and what your health risks are. You can also use the free online Waist-to-Hip Ratio calculator provided as part of the free weight loss tools offered at myOBW.
The Waist-to-Hip Ratio Chart is as follow:
|Male||Female||Health Risk Based on WHR|
|Close to 0.9||Close to 0.7||Ideal – Very low Risk|
|0.95 or below||0.80 or below||Low Risk|
|0.96 to 1.0||0.81 to 0.85||Moderate Risk|
Scientific studies show that waist size alone can already be an indicator for increased risk of heart disease. A waist circumference measurement of over 35 inches (88.9 cm) for women or over 40 inches (101.6 cm) for men indicates increased health risks as result of body fat distribution.