Waist-to-Height Ratio is a Powerful Indicator of Health
Waist-to-Height Ratio is a quick, inexpensive and easy way to predict your level of health. Recent research has determined that waist-to-height ratio is a more accurate predictor of cardiovascular health risk, hypertension, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes than BMI.
Waist-to-Height Ratio is More Accurate than BMI?
For clarity, BMI (Basal Metabolic Index) is a way of relating your height and weight to know if you are underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.
BMI= weight (kg) / height (m) x height (m).
BMI can be a very inaccurate way to measure body fat, as it only takes into consideration height and weight. Here is an example of a mass of fat vs a mass of muscle, both weighing 2.3kg (5lbs).
Here’s what it can look like on a beautiful woman. If she had just lost fat, and not gained some muscle, she would have lost weight. Since she gained muscle while losing fat, her weight remained the same.
Madalin Giorggetta is a perfect example of how much more compact muscle is on the body than fat. She also proves in this photo that BMI is inaccurate, as her body fat percentage is much higher in the photo on the left although her weight and her height are the same.
Waist-to-Height Ratio – Why It’s Superior to BMI
Abdominal obesity sometimes referred to as central obesity results from excessive abdominal fat (belly fat), which is a combination of visceral fat (fat around the internal organs) and subcutaneous fat (fat underneath the skin) that has built up to a level that puts one at risk for cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes. Since the measurement of waist-to-height ratio is made at the waist, abdominal fat is measured directly.
If the instructions above are confusing, just measure around your navel in a straight line around your back. If you don’t have a measuring tape, you can purchase one like this.
If you want to do the calculation yourself, here is the formula: Waist/Height
I will use my beautiful wife as a model. Her waist is 65.5cm (26 inches) and her height is 157cm (5 feet) so we divide her height by her waist 66/157 and get 0.417 and round that up to 0.42.
What’s the First Goal to Aim for?
The first goal to aim for is 0.5 or less. You want your waist to be 1/2 or less of your height to be considered healthy. Healthy is what we are aiming for first at Northstar Fitness.
If you want to knock people’s socks off in a swimsuit, you’ll probably need to aim for around 0.43. The Slender and Healthy Category in the chart above is what I consider extraordinary.
Please give it a shot and comment if you have any questions or you want to share.