It is known that obesity owing to fat deposition is a silent killer. It leads to many chronic and fatal health problems such as heart ailments, diabetes, arthritis, infertility and such others. There are several ways to ascertain whether one is overweight or obese. From simple formulaic ones like BMI calculator, body fat calculators, to easy DIY ones like measuring skinfold thickness, to technical ones like DEXA scans and Body Pods, there are several options to choose from.
However, in recent past, the waist-to-hip ratio has gained added importance vis-à-vis assessing a person’s health, especially that of women.
What is waist-to-hip-ratio?
The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is a measure of abdominal obesity. To calculate WHR, measure your hip around the widest diameter near the butt and then measure the waistline. Divide the waist measurement by hip measurement, and voila, you have your WHR. The measurements can be taken in inches or centimetres.
To give an example of the waist-to-hip ratio calculator:
If a person’s waist size is 105 cm and hip size is 125 cm, then the WHR can be calculated as, 105÷125 = 0.84.
What is a good waist-to-hip ratio?
While the ideal WHRs differ by around 2 points as per broad ethnicities (for instance, waist circumference of 37 inches & less for males of Western origin is low-risk, whereas waist circumference of 35.4 inches for males of South Asian, South East Asian, and African Caribbean origin is low-risk), the World Health Organisation has issued standard guidelines about what can be considered ideal WHRs. According to that, men with WHR lower than 0.95 and women with WHR lower than 0.80 are at low-risk for related health problems. On the other side, men with WHR more than 1.0 and women with WHR more than 0.86 are at high-risk for contracting such health problems.
Why is it important to have a good WHR?
WHR has become an important measure because various researches are showing that fat accumulation in the abdominal area, which is also called visceral fat, has more chances of translating into bad cholesterol levels and insulin resistance, thus causing problems like Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases with higher chances of mortality, and fertility issues in women. Apple-shaped people (whose waist is wider than the hips) are at greater risk than pear-shaped people (whose hips are wider than the waist). It is pertinent to note that a disbalanced WHR can spark these health problems even if your BMI may be good.
While maintaining a good WHR is important for both genders, women need to pay special attention to the same because a disbalanced WHR can lead to fertility issues, and coronary problems because of the manner in which women’s bodies tend to store their fat deposition around the waist and hip area.
In order to rectify your WHR, consult a nutritionist to eat meals tailored to contain the right number of calories that’ll help you remain healthy and fit. Also start exercising with due advice from trained professionals.
Access our waist and hip ratio calculator here: https://www.goodhealthbyyourself.info/waist-to-hip-ratio-calculator/
Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health – https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-definition/how-to-measure-body-fatness/